Panetta Statement on the Recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement Operation in Santa Cruz

February 23, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) released the following statement regarding the Santa Cruz Police Department’s press conference detailing the February 13th Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency’s (ICE) operation in Santa Cruz.

“I am disturbed by ICE’s conduct during their February 13th operation in Santa Cruz. I stand with our local Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) and Chief Kevin Vogel, and will continue to work with them to demand complete information from ICE about the scope of the operation.

“I am in touch with federal immigration agencies. I called ICE on February 13th, and have followed up with DHS multiple times demanding information and transparency.

“Members of our community should not live in fear that they may be detained or deported, or that their children may be separated from them, because of who they know or where they live.

“What’s worse, the breakdown in trust between ICE and SCPD puts our communities at risk. People in our community are already rightfully fearful due to the administration’s recent anti-immigrant executive orders and directives. SCPD has a very successful community policing record, and works every day to retain trust between immigrant communities and local law enforcement because doing so is paramount in keeping our neighborhoods safe. ICE has violated and betrayed that trust.

”I will continue to demand communication, clarity, and transparency from DHS and ICE, and I am working with my colleagues on the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee to hold ICE accountable for their actions.”