New: Santa Cruz Police Chief says Homeland Security Agents "deceived" police by gang investigation for detaining immigrants
Santa Cruz city officials said they feel "deceived" and "outraged" that the Department of Homeland Security detained 10 people based on their immigration status during a joint operation with Santa Cruz police targeting gang members last week.
Santa Cruz police were part of the Feb. 13 operation to arrest the alleged gang members but claim that they were repeatedly told by DHS officials that day that an immigration operation was not taking place.
At the Feb. 14 meeting of the Oakland City Council, outraged residents insisted that this was not the case, despite efforts of some councilmembers to prevent them from speaking, and their claims prompted Deputy Chief Dan Flippo to undertake an independent investigation,
Today, DHS spokesman James Schwab said, "The whole thing is one investigation," when asked about the immigration enforcement operation.
A total of 22 people were arrested or detained as part of the operation, including 12 that are facing criminal charges.
Homeland Security officers arrested or detained 10 people for their immigration status, police said. All ten have been released; five people have been given a summons to appear in immigration court and five are wearing a GPS monitor, police said.
"I'm outraged," Santa Cruz Mayor Cynthia Chase said about the immigration enforcement. "There's no question that this action has torn families apart."
Police Chief Kevin Vogel said police are revising their policy on immigration actions and will present that policy to the City Council on Tuesday.
He said the Police Department has been "deceived" by Homeland Security and vowed the department will not collaborate with law enforcement agencies it doesn't trust. -more-