Another immigration attorney, Etan Newman, said two of his clients who had been recently arrested were not allowed to speak with him until right before they were deported.
On Thursday, San Francisco and Stockton immigration officials stated they will refuse pro bono attorneys to reach out to potential clients and will not inform newly arrested noncitizens that free legal help is available.
In response, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California filed a complaint in U.S. District Court on Friday to prevent ICE from blocking immigration legal aid nonprofits from providing services to the people who may be arrested this weekend.
ICE spokesman Paul Prince declined to provide more information on the agency’s policies for access to attorneys seeking to contact people recently arrested. He also declined to confirm on Wednesday if any larger-than-usual operation was underway in the Bay Area.
"We do not comment on potential or ongoing law enforcement actions due to the safety of our agents and because it's law enforcement-sensitive information," said Prince.
But arrests were happening elsewhere in the state: ICE said it had detained 20 people with final deportation orders in San Diego over the last week.
In the Bay Area, Reyes Savalza said the legal aid networks had confirmed that ICE agents drove several of those apprehended to a facility in Stockton — a first "processing center" before immigrants are shipped to longer-term detention facilities or bused directly to the Mexican border for deportation.