Feds Planning Biggest Immigration Raid Yet in California as Direct Challenge to Sanctuary State Law

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Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.

After the head of Donald Trump’s immigration police force threatened revenge on California for becoming a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants, the federal government is reportedly planning a large-scale operation to round up undocumented people for deportation in San Francisco and Northern California.


The raids are targeting at least 1,500 people, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. It’s a direct challenge to California’s new sanctuary law, which shields undocumented people across the state from being handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials by local law enforcement.

The Chronicle’s source said the sweep—slated to be the largest of its kind so far under Trump’s immigration crackdown—could happen within weeks.


Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan accused Gov. Jerry Brown and California Democrats of putting “politics ahead of public safety” in an appearance earlier this month on Fox News. Homan also ominously said the state “better hold on tight,” pledging that ICE would “significantly increase” its operations in the state as a retaliatory measure.

“They’re about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation officers in the state of California,” he said.


  • Steve Bannon, fresh off twin firings from the Trump administration and the alt-right site Breitbart, reportedly plans to sing like a canary to special counsel Robert Mueller. A source familiar with his thinking told the Daily Beast that while the White House’s invocation of executive privilege kept him silent in a closed-door House hearing on Tuesday, “Mueller will hear everything Bannon has to say.”
  • A draft Senate immigration deal—first reported by Politico last night and expected to be announced today with bipartisan support—contains massive concessions to Republicans. Among them: more than $1.5 billion to fund Trump’s border wall, $15 million to drug test immigrations, and no pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients.
  • With just two days to go until a potential government shutdown, Republicans have devised a shiny new bargaining chip to bring Democrats to the table: funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years. That’s right: They’re playing chicken with poor kids’ healthcare now.
  • The Democrats in Wisconsin flipped a long-held Republican state Senate seat in a special election Tuesday night—hopefully a sign of things to come in 2018.

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