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Almost 200 arrested in California in new immigration raids

Almost 200 arrested in California in new immigration raids

ICE officials said the effort focused on at-large criminals, illegal re-entrants, and immigration fugitives considered threats to public safety.

Dozens of convicted sex criminals and drug offenders were among the immigrants caught in the Los Angeles area as part of ICE's five-day operation that ended on Wednesday.

"By taking these individuals off the streets and removing them from the country, we're making our communities safer for everyone", David Marin, field office director for ICE's enforcement and removal operations in Los Angeles said in a statement.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported Thursday that 169 of the people arrested had previous criminal convictions.

"Some of these unsafe individuals had been released to the streets instead of being turned over to ICE or our detainers, which compromises the safety of the homeland that ICE officers strive to protect every day", ERO Philadelphia Acting Field Office Director Jennifer Ritchey said in the release. Others were from Armenia, Cambodia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Philippines, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam and Yugoslavia. According to reports, the hunger striker is Vitaly Novikov, a refugee from the former Soviet Union who is protesting ICE's plans to deport him to the Ukraine. In the Trump administration, agents are able to arrest anyone in violation of immigration law.

In the raids, carried out between Saturday and Wednesday, 146 Mexican nationals were apprehended, along with citizens of several countries in Central America, East Asia and Eastern Europe.

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Arrests were made in the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, Ventura and Santa Barbara.

President Donald Trump did sign an executive order earlier this year calling for expedited deportation and 5,000 more federal immigration agents, but fulfilling that order at this point is overly ambitious, Walters said. "Those persons will be evaluated on a case by case basis and, when appropriate, arrested by ICE", read a statement released by ICE. "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".

Detained immigrants who do not face criminal charges will be slated for deportation.

Federal authorities say over 41,000 people have been arrested since the beginning of this year, a 40 percent increase compared to the same period in 2016. The numbers, according to ICE, represent a 20% increase over the same period past year.

"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".

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