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ICE Plan for Massive Raids in California Slammed as Attempt to 'Incite Fear' in Communities of Color

"If you see ICE carrying out a raid, film them. If they ask to be let into your building, don't let them in. If they talk to you, don't answer them."

ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations officers, in search of 32-year-old Hugo Medina, question his mother Magdalena Medina, 69, about his whereabout in a morning raid on his residence in Riverside. (Photo: Irfan Khan, LA Times via Getty Images)

Just days after raiding nearly 100 7-Eleven stores nationwide, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is now reportedly setting its sights on Northern California, where it is planning to arrest as many as 1,500 suspected undocumented immigrants in what lawmakers have denounced as "a direct assault on communities of color."

"ICE is the fascist, door-to-door roundup people imagine in their dystopias."
—Joe Rivano

ICE's plan to target California in the coming weeks was first reported on Tuesday by the San Francisco Chronicle, which notes that the sweep is "expected to become the biggest enforcement action of its kind under President Donald Trump."

The raid would also "represent the first large-scale effort to target the region since Gov. Jerry Brown in October signed legislation enacting a statewide sanctuary law," the Chronicle reports.

Thomas Homan, acting director of ICE, has slammed California's Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown for restricting his state's cooperation with federal immigration officials and vowed to pursue "immigration violators" anyway.

Homan ramped up his xenophobic rhetoric in an interview on Fox News earlier this month, during which he warned California to "hold on tight" because his agency is aiming to "vastly increase [its] enforcement footprint" in the state.

The Chronicle's reporting on Tuesday indicates that Homan plans to make good on these threats, which were swiftly condemned by California Democrats as part of a far-reaching effort by the Trump administration "to incite fear in our communities and undermine public safety."

Pratheepan Gulasekaram, immigration expert and professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, told the Chronicle that he believes ICE's supposed plans are little more than a "bluff."

If the raids are carried out, however, they would "tear up a lot of lives," Gulasekaram concluded.

Responding ICE's threats and planned raids on Twitter, activist Joe Rivano implored Californians to oppose the agency "however you can."

"If you see ICE carrying out a raid, film them. If they ask to be let into your building, don't let them in. If they talk to you, don't answer them," Rivano wrote on Tuesday. "ICE is the fascist, door-to-door roundup people imagine in their dystopias."

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