Officers with Immigration and Customs Enforcement are continuing arrests in California despite intense lockdowns to help mitigate the growing coronavirus crisis, a report said Tuesday.
Los Angeles has instituted a strict crackdown on open services – similar to New York – closing schools, libraries, restaurant seating, bars and clubs that don’t serve food, gyms, movie theaters, concert venues, recreation centers, bowling alleys and arcades.
Reporters with the Los Angeles Times rode along with a group of ICE agents who were equipped with protective masks and hand sanitizer wipes as they continued with their daily arrests.
“Our job is not a job that you can telework from,” said David Marin, the director of Enforcement and Removal Operations for ICE in LA.
During the ride-along, the law enforcement agency arrested a man convicted in 2015 for DUI causing bodily injury and, later, another convicted of sexual battery — both which reportedly went business-as-usual.
Both men arrested were put into the back seat of the same vehicle.
During the attempted arrest of a third man, his wife and children – home from school because of closures – answered the door. The family let officers search the home with no luck.
Officers later struck out again with another expected arrest of a man who routinely leaves his home around 9a.m. but wasn’t spotted.
“This guy’s late because of coronavirus,” Marin speculated.
ICE has also continued its immigration arrests in Denver, with at least two arrests in the past week of parents whose children attend local schools, the Denver Post reported.
The agency received criticism for making an arrest of a man as a left a hospital emergency room in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the Morning Call reported.
The ACLU has also sued the agency in an attempt to get “vulnerable” detainees released, The National Review reported.
“Immigrant detention centers are institutions that uniquely heighten the danger of disease transmission. In normal circumstances, ICE has proven time and again that it is unable to protect the health and safety of detained people,” said Eunice Cho, senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s National Prison Project, in a statement Monday.
ICE, Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security all came under scrutiny last year for crowding in detention centers for migrants along the border.