A four-day sting operation targeting undocumented immigrants throughout Massachusetts has led to the arrests of 19 individuals who have been either convicted or charged with fentanyl, heroin or other drug-related trafficking crimes, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (or “ICE”) said Wednesday.
ICE said that those arrested had been released by local law enforcement in the state without notifying the federal agency.
The arrested individuals are from seven different countries: one from the Bahamas, four from Brazil, four from Cape Verde, six from Dominican Republic, one from France, one from Guatemala, and two from Haiti.
ICE vs. Law Enforcement
The operation represents the latest evidence of the tension that exists under President Donald Trump between local and federal law enforcement. As the Trump administration continues to take a hardline stance against on immigration, many liberal communities have combated those tough federal policies by serving as so-called “sanctuary cities,” where laws are intended to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation.
In its announcement of the Massachusetts raid, ICE lambasted sanctuary policies, saying that local law enforcement in the state disregarded “detainers” on the individuals who were released. ICE places a detainer on an individual who