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Immigration agents arrest almost 200 in LA-area raids

Immigration agents arrest almost 200 in LA-area raids”

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 188 people across the Southland - with the majority in Los Angeles County - during a five-day operation, officials said.

The enforcement operation focused on the greater Los Angeles area and was conducted from Saturday through Wednesday.

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. They included 15 people convicted of sex crimes, including a criminal rapist, a previously deported cocaine trafficker, and two people convicted of cruelty to a child. "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.

According to federal authorities, more than 41,000 people have been arrested by ICE since Trump signed an executive order in January strengthening immigration enforcement policies.

The 177 men and 11 women arrested came from 11 countries, with Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala having the highest number.

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"Just like there's discretion for your local law enforcement, there's discretion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement", she said. Smaller numbers were identified as Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Armenian and Russian nationals. ICE arrested 93 in Los Angeles County, 26 in Riverside County, 23 in Orange County, 21 in San Bernardino County, 14 in Ventura County and 11 in Santa Barbara County.

Memos put out by the Trump administration in his first weeks in office adjusted priorities for immigration enforcement officers, enabling them to arrest more broadly - virtually every undocumented immigrant in the United States entering the purview. "Those persons will be evaluated on a case by case basis and, when appropriate, arrested by ICE", read a statement released by ICE.

“His daughter is active-duty military, his son-in-law is active duty military, ” Pasquarella said. Seventy-three percent of those arrested during that period this year are convicted criminals.

"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.

Those not being criminally prosecuted will be processed for removal from the country.

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