Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are expected to carry out targeted arrest operations in "sanctuary cities" across the country next month, three U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter told The Washington Post.
Two of the officials said this is more of a political messaging campaign rather than a major ICE operation, and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf is expected to travel to one of the targeted cities to amplify President Trump's claims that he is a "law and order president" who is doing more to protect Americans than their local leaders.
ICE agents could start arresting undocumented immigrants in California as early as later this week, the Post reports, and operations are also expected to take place in Denver and Philadelphia. When asked for comment, an ICE spokesman told the Post he would "not comment on any law enforcement sensitive issues that may adversely impact our officers and the public."
Sanctuary cities typically do not hold undocumented immigrants in jail longer than required in order for ICE to take them into custody or check a person's legal status when they are arrested for minor offenses. Officials in sanctuary cities say they need to ensure immigrants in their communities feel safe reporting crimes without fear of being deported.