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26 May 2017, 07:20 | Rhonda Young
Federal immigration officers arrested almost 200 people in Southern California during an operation that targeted criminals and lasted five days, authorities announced Thursday.
"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.
ICE reported on May 17 that it made about 400 arrests per day and increased arrests by nearly 40 percent from the previous year. "169, or nearly 90 percent, had prior criminal convictions", a statement from the agency read. Thirty individuals had DUI convictions and 43 had previous drug-related convictions.
ICEs enforcement priorities under Obama since 2014 included serious misdemeanors, such as domestic violence and driving under the influence, but did not necessarily include crimes such as theft or fraud unless they were sentenced to at least 90 days of custody for them.
Detained immigrants who do not face criminal charges will be slated for deportation.
The majority - 146 - are from Mexico while two are from Russian Federation and one from Cambodia.
That was followed by Riverside County with 26, Orange County with 23, San Bernardino County with 21, Ventura County with 14 and Santa Barbara County with 11, according to ICE.
While the vast majority of arrestees were from Mexico - 146 - they also came from countries including Russia, Armenia, Thailand, El Salvador, Vietnam, Cambodia and Guatemala. He later returned to the country illegally, ICE said.
"The Americans are not so anxious by how many Central Americans get through, but rather about making sure nobody with even the slightest chance of being a terrorist does", Humberto Roque Villanueva, Mexico's deputy interior minister responsible for migration, told Reuters past year. Seventy-three percent of those arrested during that period this year are convicted criminals.
Officials have said that ICE practices in Los Angeles have not changed, despite President Trump's promised crackdown on those in the United States illegally. Now, under President Donald Trump's administration, they are able to arrest anyone in violation of immigration law. "Those persons will be evaluated on a case by case basis and, when appropriate, arrested by ICE", read a statement released by ICE.
In the greater L.A. area, ICE officers made 2,273 administrative arrests, of which 2,049 were criminal aliens, officials said.
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