Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers have arrested almost 200 people in Southern California in an operation that started Saturday and lasted five days.
According to ICE, the operation targeted criminals, fugitives, people who had illegally re-entered the country and other immigration violators in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware.
The enforcement operation focused on the greater Los Angeles area and was conducted from Saturday through Wednesday.
Of the 188 individuals arrested, 169 had prior convictions, the most prevalent of which were drug offenses, domestic violence and driving under the influence.
Some of the individuals had serious prior convictions, including a convicted rapist and a previously deported cocaine trafficker. Of those, 43 were drug offenses, 30 DUIs, 27 domestic violence, 15 sex crimes, and 12 battery charges, among others, according to the department. "By taking these individuals off the streets and removing them from the country, we're making our communities safer for everyone", Marin said.
"These statistics reflect President Trump's commitment to enforce our immigration laws fairly and across the board", ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan said in the report. The majority of those held - 146 - were from Mexico, but they also hail from Armenia, Thailand, El Salvador, Vietnam, Cambodia, Russia, Yugoslavia, the Philippines, Honduras and Guatemala.
ICE reportedly made 41,800 arrests from January 20 to April 29, targeting people who are illegally residing in the country. In the Trump administration, they are able to arrest anyone in violation of immigration law.
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A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement sweep, conducted over 10 days in three states, picked up 186 foreign nationals, 141 of those arrests in Pennsylvania.
The majority - 146 - are from Mexico while two are from Russian Federation and one from Cambodia.
At least eight of the individuals arrested during the operation now face federal prosecution for re-entering the USA after being deported, a felony that carries a sentence up to 20 years in prison.
Arrests were made in the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, Ventura and Santa Barbara. Those individuals will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and arrested by ICE, when appropriate. "He's been a valued member of his family and community for decades and they seem to be going after people for a conviction that's as old as 1992".
Immigration arrests since the beginning of the year have risen nearly 40% nationwide compared to the same period in 2016.
"The same data shows that numerous non-sanctuary jurisdictions saw a higher increase in ICE arrests under Trump policies than did areas with major sanctuaries".