BALTIMORE (WJZ)– ICE conducted a nationwide sweep called operation “Safe City” that resulted in hundreds of people being arrested, including more than two dozen in Maryland.
At least 28 were arrested in Maryland. They all had investigative leads that originated in Baltimore.
ICE targeted those with criminal convictions, pending charges, those who re-entered the U.S. after deportation and even known gang members.
Immigrants in the City are living in fear.
“It’s frightening, people are legitimately scared that they may be next,” said one Baltimore resident.
“This type of propaganda coming out of the White House is really demonizing immigrants,” said CASA de Maryland regional director Liz Alex.
The four-day-operation by ICE arrested close to 500 people across the country. The targets: those with immigration violations in sanctuary jurisdictions.
In Maryland, 5 were arrested in Baltimore City, 1 in Baltimore County, 11 in Prince George’s County and 11 more in Montgomery County.
“This kind of scared tactic, frequently goes to just cause fear in the community,” Alex said.
ICE officials say the operation focused on cities and regions that limit their cooperation with federal immigration officials.
“This type of tactic from ICE only goes to undermine what we’re trying to do in this city,” Alex said.
Officials with CASA say they are constantly getting reports of ICE agents driving around the Southeast Baltimore area, some that are following certain immigrants or even waiting for them outside their home.
Mayor Catherine Pugh and police commissioner Kevin Davis have shied away from enforcing federal immigration laws.
Baltimore City schools even passed a resolution this week saying “we will do everything in our lawful power to protect our students.”
The City emphasized it’s a welcoming place for immigrants, though the Trump Administration is not backing down.
“The more we’re able to help them, embrace them through this tough federal time, the better we’ll be, all be,” Alex said.
Of the 498 arrested, officials say 317 had criminal convictions.
Officials say all 28 individuals in Maryland were detained on civil immigration violations not criminal charges, which now allows ICE to identify them publicly.
The arrests included 15 people who do not have legal status or were violating the terms of their status, 6 had gone through immigration proceedings and were allegedly defying orders to leave the country and seven had previously been removed from the country and re-entered.