Officials in one California sanctuary city are upset after immigration agents arrested an illegal alien facing child molestation charges and another previously deported three times prior.
The recent arrest took place in Hayward, California, when officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were looking for an illegal immigrant but in the course of their investigation, they found 42-year-old Jose Salgado and 34-year-old Antonio Valenzuela.
The arrest took place during an operation by ICE officers who were carrying out an enforcement operation targeting another individual in an unrelated case, said ICE Spokesman Jason Schwab. They determined that both men were in the country illegally and detained them. Salgado was arrested earlier this year by local authorities on a felony charge involving lewd and lascivious acts with a minor, Schwab said. Prior to his recent arrest by ICE agents, Salgado had not been previously encountered by federal authorities. In the case of Valenzuela, the Mexican national was previously deported three times and had one conviction of driving under the influence. Both men remain in federal custody.
Soon after the arrest, Hayward officials issued a statement expressing their concern over federal immigration arrests in the city. According to their statement, the circumstances leading to the arrest “are concerning because of the potential impact on the trust our officers and local government seek to maintain with all members of our community.”
According to city officials, local law enforcement personnel are not allowed to cooperate with federal authorities in the enforcement of immigration law:
As a matter of policy, HPD and the City of Hayward employees do not seek to learn the immigration status of people with whom they come into contact in the course of providing law enforcement and other public services. No HPD officer or Hayward city employee may assist federal officials in the enforcement of U.S immigration laws. We are committed to equal treatment of all of our residents regardless of immigration status.
The City’s refusal to cooperate with federal law enforcement officials in the enforcement of immigration laws follows the June 6 announcement where officials sought theclassification of sanctuary status.
“Fostering a relationship of trust, respect and open communication between city officials and residents is essential to the city’s mission,” the city’s statement on the status revealed.