U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement took the rare step of serving four administrative subpoenas Friday to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for information on four Mexican nationals wanted for deportation.
The immigration subpoenas are the first of their kind in California, though they’re just the latest deployment of a new, month-old Trump administration tactic aimed at so-called sanctuary cities and states.
ICE, the Department of Homeland Security agency responsible for arresting and deporting people in the U.S. illegally, used the subpoenas Jan. 15 in Denver for what was believed to be the first time. The agency subsequently used them in New York and on Thursday in Connecticut.
According to an ICE spokeswoman, the subpoenas are not court-ordered or signed by a judge. But if the Sheriff’s Department does not comply, ICE said it can coordinate with federal prosecutors to seek an order from a federal judge that would compel the Sheriff’s Department to comply.