The arrests are part of a national "Safe City" operation targeting jurisdictions where local police limit their cooperation with federal immigration agents, a broad category known as sanctuary cities, according to ICE.
The operation targeted individuals who have violated US immigration laws, prioritizing those with criminal convictions, pending criminal charges, gang members and affiliates, immigration fugitives and those who re-entered the USA after deportation.
"ICE is operating as a politicized security force... arresting 498 people in cities that represent the political opposition to what is an unconstitutional federal overreach on immigration", Sarmiento said.
As a result, ICE dedicated more resources to "these communities" for the arrests, he wrote.
ICE said of the 50 arrests made, 20 were not criminals.
In Philadelphia, 107 illegal immigrants were arrested, while 101 were arrested in Los Angeles and 45 people were arrested in NY. More individuals were arrested in Philadelphia than in any of the other nine municipalities where the operation took place.
ICE detailed just four of the MA arrests, including one in Boston of a "citizen of India who entered the US illegally" and was once convicted of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 years old and required to register as a sex offender.
"Laws created under the guise to protect immigrants who are here to better their lives are being used by criminal elements to protect themselves", said Jorge Field, assistant field office director for ICE in Los Angeles, adding that "having to make these arrests in public puts more people in danger".
But immigration activists in Philly say it was revenge by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) against cities that have implemented "Sanctuary City" policies.
Further, Matthew Albence, the executive associate director of ICE said how they won't stop enforcing the laws that they are authorized and required to do.
Thursday's news followed months of tough stances from the Trump administration regarding sanctuary jurisdictions.
He said ICE wants cooperative, respectful relationships with law-enforcement partners "to help prevent risky criminal aliens from being released back onto the streets" and "non-cooperation policies severely undermine that effort".
"Individuals with active DACA were not targeted for arrest", a press release from ICE said.
In Los Angeles, a citizen of Mexico and documented Colonia Chiques gang member who entered the United States illegally was arrested.
In Baltimore, a citizen of El Salvador who entered the US illegally on a fraudulent passport, and was previously charged with attempted murder/conspiracy to commit murder and convicted of first degree assault.
"It's clearly a political move that is not actually geared toward public safety", Inlender told the Times.
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