Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrest 212 in Los Angeles operation

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 212 people in a five-day operation in the Los Angeles area. (KABC)

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 212 people in a five-day operation in the Los Angeles area.

"Of those 212, 195 of them, which is 92 percent, had at least one criminal conviction or had been ordered deported, hadn't left the country - which we consider a fugitive - or they had been deported and illegally reentered the country," said David Marin, field office director for ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations in L.A.

Immigration authorities said more than 55 percent had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, or had past convictions for significant or multiple misdemeanors but did not specify how many arrests were made in each category.

"People are being extracted out of their homes in the middle of the night. People are being arrested at gas stations," said Xochilt Sanchez, an organizer with the Central American Resource Center, or CARECEN.

Sanchez and other protesters blocked an ICE van from leaving a downtown immigration detention center Thursday night.

"ICE is pretending to be SWAT teams, pretending to be police, using tactics that they are employing now to infiltrate spaces and extract people from their homes and from their workplace," Sanchez said.

Immigration officials argue sanctuary jurisdictions forced them to conduct the at-large arrests.

"We are no longer allowed to have a major presence inside of the jails, which is where we would prefer to arrest people at - in a safe environment," Marin said.

During the operation, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) also served notices to more than 100 L.A. businesses. Authorities will audit their hiring records and if they're not in compliance with the law, they could face civil fines and criminal prosecution.
Related Topics:
ICEimmigrationdeportationarrestjailraidLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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