Panicked callers to Alba Hernandez’s hotline reported a possible immigration raid. She rushed to the West Oakland home to find officers had blocked off traffic in what they described as a human-trafficking investigation.
The police revealed no criminal charges from the August incident. Instead, two Guatemalan brothers were questioned on civil immigration violations, and one was detained for weeks, according to court records and interviews with residents.
This wasn’t supposed to happen in Oakland, a city that has made national headlines for its mayor’s defense of so-called “sanctuary” policies, Hernandez and other immigrant rights activists said. Oakland has greatly limited police cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, drawing the ire of Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions.