HAYWARD (CBS SF) — Hayward city officials said Monday they’re concerned that federal immigration officials arrested two undocumented immigrants in their city last week, including one accused of molesting a minor.
The city said in a statement that the circumstances leading up to the arrests of Antonio Valenzuela, 34, and Jose Salgado, 42, “are concerning because of the potential impact on the trust our officers and local government seek to maintain with all members of our community.”
The city said that last Tuesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials let the Hayward Police Department know that two of its agents would be in the city doing compliance checks on subjects the agency was monitoring with GPS ankle bracelets.
Hayward officials said that under their department’s policy and in compliance with the city’s recent Sanctuary City declaration, Hayward police officers don’t participate in or provide support to ICE agents performing compliance checks.
The city said ICE officials didn’t give Hayward information about any arrests that resulted from the operation last week and police Chief Mark Koller has put in a formal request to ICE about what happened.
“As a matter of policy, Hayward police and 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,” city officials said.
“No Hayward officer or 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,” city officials said. “We have these policies because it is vital that all residents feel safe interacting with Hayward police and city government generally.”
City officials said they are waiting to hear back from ICE about the facts about last week’s arrests “and will evaluate the situation before deciding how to proceed in this matter.”
ICE spokesman James Schwab said Salgado and Valenzuela were arrested Thursday by deportation officers with the agency’s fugitive operations teams “during a targeted enforcement action seeking a previously removed criminal alien who remains at large.”
Schwab said the two men were taken into ICE’s custody because “further investigation revealed neither man had ever been lawfully admitted to the United States.”
Schwab said Department of Homeland Security databases indicate that Valenzuela has been repatriated to his native Mexico three times, and that he served time for a DUI conviction last year.
Valenzuela remains in ICE custody while his case undergoes further review, according to Schwab.
Databases show that although Salgado was arrested earlier this year by local law enforcement on a felony charge involving lewd and lascivious acts with a minor, he has never been previously encountered by the Department of Homeland Security, Schwab said.
Salgado’s case has been referred to immigration courts under the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review, where an immigration judge will determine whether he has a legal basis to remain in the U.S., according to Schwab.
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