ICE arrests almost 190 immigrants in Southern California

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Fugitive Operations officers make an arrest during a five-day expanded enforcement operation targeting at-large criminal aliens illegal re-entrants and immigration fugitives

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested nearly 200 people across greater Los Angeles in a five-day operation that concluded on Wednesday.

According to ICE, the operation targeted criminals, fugitives, people who had illegally re-entered the country and other immigration violators in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware.

The White House supported this claim with examples of those seized in ICE operations this year, including hardened repeat offenders from gangs like MS-13 caught in last month;s Operation Community Shield against gang members that yielded 1,378 arrests.

"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.

This latest operation netted 43 people with narcotics offenses, 27 with domestic violence crimes, 30 with DUI convictions, 6 with assault offenses, 2 case of vehicle theft, and 3 cases of fraud, according to ICE. "The individuals that we do find out about, again, are booked into a law enforcement facility, fingerprints taken", said David Marin, an ICE field office director.

News of ICE's operation came after the agency recently reported it stepped up its immigration enforcement as a result of President Donald Trump's immigration-related executive orders. Most were from Mexico but other countries of origin included El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Armenia, and Russian Federation. Meanwhile, those who have outstanding deportation orders, or who re-entered the USA illegally after being deported, can be immediately removed, officials said. In the Trump administration, agents are able to arrest anyone in violation of immigration law.

"What a difference 100 days can make", the Center for Immigration Studies commented in a posting praising the arrests.

The arrests took place from Saturday, May 20, through Wednesday in L.A., Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

"His daughter is active-duty military, his son-in-law is active-duty military", Pasquarella said.

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. Seventy-three percent of those arrested during that period this year are convicted criminals. Homeland Security databases indicated the man arrested in Los Angeles was deported in 2013 after serving a nine-year prison term, but returned to the United States illegally.

The individuals who do not face criminal prosecution will be processed for deportation.

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