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

ICE arrests almost 200 illegal immigrants during 5-day operation in Californiaā€¯

More than two dozen illegal immigrants, majority with criminal backgrounds, were apprehended in Riverside County during a U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement operation, federal officials said Thursday. According to ICE, the operation, which ended on Wednesday, targeted individuals who threatened public safety, "such as convicted criminal aliens and individuals who have violated our nation's immigration laws".

"Additionally, earlier this month, ICE detailed the results of its six-week nationwide gang apprehension operation, which resulted in the arrest of 384 illegal immigrants, as well as 61 foreign nationals voluntarily admitted into the country".

The other quarter of the total, numbering 10,845, have no criminal convictions and could have been arrested, as Kelly said, for reasons including multiple illegal re-entries into the country and refusing to check in with ICE officials.

According to the White House, almost 90 percent of the aliens had prior criminal convictions that included domestic violence, battery, sex crimes, manslaughter, assault, arson, and cruelty to a child.

ICE touted the arrests of a 29-year-old Salvadoran convicted of rape who had been previously deported; a 51-year old Mexican national who had served three years for cocaine trafficking; a 47-year old Mexican who had convictions for assault and battery and had been released by local authorities despite an ICE detainer request; and a 26-year-old Salvadoran who is a registered sex offender. Among these listed convictions, 43 were drug offenses, 27 were domestic violence incidents, 30 were DUIs and 15 were sex crimes, according to the statement. "By taking these individuals off the streets and removing them from the country, we're making our communities safer for everyone". He later returned to the country illegally, ICE said.

According to ICE, more arrests were made in Dallas (4,969) than any other city, followed by Atlanta (4,246) and Houston (4,040).

President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration enforcement issued in February gives ICE agents broader discretion when arresting undocumented individuals.

"His daughter is active-duty military, his son-in-law is active duty military", said Jennie Pasquarella, a director of immigrants' rights at the ACLU.

Under his broader policy, immigration arrests in Trump's first 100 days constituted a significant increase from a similar period of time in the previous year, under Barack Obama.

"This is part of their, I think, public relations strategy to say they're going after people with certain convictions but, of course, it doesn't tell the whole story of who these people are and the harm that is brought by targeting them and whether it's really a sound choice", Pasquarella said.

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

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