Nearly 190 people were arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in Southern California during a five-day operation. The operation targeted “public safety threats” including illegal re-entrants and immigrants fugitives. Authorities announced this Thursday, May 25, 25.
The agency stated that 169 of the 188 people arrested in the six-county sweep on Wednesday had previous criminal convictions. There were 15 people convicted for sex crimes including a convicted rapper and a cocaine trafficker who was previously deported. Two people were also convicted of cruelty towards a child.
“It’s a win, and now they’ve taken these convicted felons off the streets, so they can re-offend, and they can’t make further victims and, ultimately our goal is to eliminate them from the country,” David Marin (field office director for Enforcement and Removal Operations at ICE in Los Angeles) said in an interview about six-county sweep. They weren’t just people with speeding tickets or traffic tickets.
According to ICE, the convicted rapist was arrested in Los Angeles Monday. He was a 29 year-old Salvadoran national who had been deported in 2013. He served a nine-year sentence in prison before being allowed to return illegally to the U.S. in 2013. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is now pursuing criminal charges against him for felony reentry following deportation.
WHERE ARE THE ARRESTS OCCURRED
Los Angeles County saw the most arrests, with 93. This included 25 people in San Fernando Valley and eight in Long Beach. A 32-year old Mexican national with child molestation convictions and a record as a sex offender was one of the Long Beach arrestees.
According to ICE, Riverside County had 26 and Orange County had 23. San Bernardino County had 21. Ventura County had 14 and Santa Barbara County had 11.
According to an ICE statement, the vast majority of those who were arrested were Mexican (146), but they also came primarily from other countries such as Russia, Armenia and Thailand. Eleven women were among the arrested.
ICE has increased immigration arrests in the United States. Although most of them are convicted of criminal offenses, some are only being held for illegally residing in the country.