LOS ANGELES – Immigration agents this week arrested 212 people for violating federal immigration laws and served 122 “notices of inspection” to various businesses in the Los Angeles County area, authorities said.
The five-day operation ended Thursday, Feb. 15, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“Because sanctuary jurisdictions like Los Angeles prevent ICE from arresting criminal aliens in the secure confines of a jail, our officers are forced to conduct at-large arrests in the community, putting officers, the general public and the aliens at greater risk and increasing the incidents of collateral arrests,” said ICE Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan.
Of the 212 arrestees, 195 were either convicted criminals, had been issued a final order of removal and failed to depart the United States, or had been previously removed from the United States and returned illegally, Homan said.
More than 55 percent of the arrestees had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges, and assault, or had past convictions for significant or multiple misdemeanors, Homan said.
The arrests were driven by leads developed by the local field office in conjunction with the Pacific Enforcement Response Center, an ICE statement said.
“ICE focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security,” an ICE statement said.
“However, ICE no longer exempts classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States,” the statement said.
Some of the individuals arrested during this operation will face federal criminal prosecutions for illegal entry and illegal re-entry after deportation.
Arrestees who are not being federally prosecuted will be processed administratively for removal from the United States.
Those who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country.
The remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.
Also as part of this operation, ICE personnel served 122 “notices of inspection” to a various businesses in the Los Angeles County area. A notice of inspection alerts business owners that ICE intends to audit their hiring records to determine whether or not they are in compliance with the law.