Despite the hype, no major ICE raids in the Bay Area or beyond, advocates say

Despite the hype before the weekend, there were no confirmed Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids reported to legal aid and immigrant rights groups in the Bay Area and beyond, advocates said on Sunday.

“There’s been zero confirmed reports of ICE activity so far” anywhere in Northern California, amid Yazdan Panah, an attorney with the San Francisco Bar Association, told the Bay Area News Group.  

And Ruthie Epstein, the ACLU's deputy director for immigration policy told NPR that she hadn't heard of any reports of raids at all. 

The day before the anticipated roundup of 2,000 people across the country, US District Jude James Donato in San Francisco had also ruled that ICE must allow detainees the chance to call a lawyer even on a Sunday when processing centers were closed. He did, however, deny Pangea Legal Services's request for a restraining order against ICE preventing any deportations until detainees had a chance to meet with a lawyer. 

It’s still possible that detentions could have happened in the Bay Area without the groups receiving reports, or that the agency could detain individuals later this week. The operation was expected to last multiple days, according to media reports.

Matthew Albence, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, declined to give specifics about ICE operations during an interview on Fox News Sunday morning, but said the agency was conducting “targeted enforcement actions against specific individuals.” He said using the term raid is a 'disservice." 

“These are individuals who have come to this country illegally and had the opportunity to make an asylum claim in front of an immigration judge,” he said. “Most of them chose not to avail themselves of that opportunity and didn’t even show up for their first hearing.”

Still, when agents detain individuals they also often pick up “collateral” undocumented immigrants who they find in the course of an operation.