ICE arrests almost 200 aliens in California

Raids by federal agents resulted in arrests of nearly 200 people in southern California amid a continuing crackdown on illegal immigrants

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 188 people in an operation targeting "at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants and immigration fugitives", the agency said in a statement on Thursday. Of those, USA authorities said, nine had prior criminal convictions, including "DUI, re-entry after deportation, trespassing, drug trafficking, providing false identification, illegal entry, [and] escape".

The operation was conducted from Saturday night through Wednesday.

"We want to know just how widespread the abuse is", said Carl Takei, an attorney with the ACLU's National Prison Project who works on immigration detention issues. Other criminal convictions listed on the ICE statement include drug offenses, domestic violence, DUI, sex crimes, battery, weapons violations, assault, burglary, fraud, vehicle theft, arson, cruelty to a child, robbery, obstructing justice, property damage, larceny, escape, manslaughter, prostitution, trespassing, incest, receipt of stolen property and illegal re-entry/entry. A convicted rapist and previously deported cocaine trafficker were among those arrested in that region, according to ICE.

"This phenomenon is generally confirmed in the recent arrest data released by ICE, which shows that ICE arrests in places like California, dropped off sharply after the state sanctuary policy (the Trust Act) was adopted", Vaughan said in an email.

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.

Arrests were made in six southern California counties, including Los Angeles, Orange, and Santa Barbara.




At least eight people arrested now face federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation, which is a felony and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, officials said.

President Donald Trump's administration has touted an increase in immigration arrests since taking office in January on promises to bolster immigration enforcement.

ICE agents carry out such arrests.

"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.

According to figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection this week, more than 700,000 citizens of foreign countries who entered the U.S. a year ago at airports or at sea ports overstayed their visas.

Immigration arrests since the beginning of the year have risen nearly 40% nationwide compared to the same period in 2016.

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