ICE arrests nearly 200 illegal immigrants during 5-day operation in California

ICE arrests nearly 200 illegal immigrants during 5-day operation in California
Federal immigration officers have arrested nearly 200 illegal immigrants during a five-day operation which targeted criminals known or suspected of being in the US illegally within the greater Los Angeles area.

On Thursday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the conclusion of a five-day expanded enforcement operation. Fugitive Operations officers made 188 arrests in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, targeting “at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants, and immigration fugitives,” according to a news release from the agency.

“Operations like this are emblematic of the vital work ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations officers do every day seeking to locate, arrest, and ultimately deport at-large convicted criminals and other immigration fugitives who pose a threat to public safety,” David Marin, field officer director for ERO in Los Angeles, said in a statement.

“By taking these individuals off the streets and removing them from the country, we’re making our communities safer for everyone,” Marin said.

Of the 188 individuals arrested, 169 had prior convictions, the most prevalent of which were drug offenses, domestic violence and driving under the influence.

At least eight of the individuals arrested during the operation now face federal prosecution for re-entering the US after being deported, a felony that carries a sentence up to 20 years in prison. The remaining individuals not facing criminal prosecutions will be processed for removal from the country.

Of the individuals arrested over the course of the operation, 177 were men and 11 were women. The majority, 146, were identified as nationals from Mexico. Others were from Armenia, Cambodia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Philippines, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam and Yugoslavia.

The majority of the arrests, 93, were made in Los Angeles County, with others arrested in five surrounding counties, including Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

ICE named four individuals that were arrested in their news release, including a 29-year-old Salvadoran man who was deported after serving nine years in prison for rape, and a 47-year old Mexican man with prior felony convictions for assault and battery who was released by local authorities despite having an ICE detainer.

ICE claims they have made more than 41,000 arrests across the nation, since President Donald Trump signed his first executive order on immigration enforcement, an increase of 40 percent from the same period last year. Three quarters of those arrested since January 25 were convicted criminals, according to ICE.

During Trump’s time in office, ICE has arrested 2,273 people in the greater Los Angeles area.