112 arrested in ICE operation targeting 'convicted criminal aliens' in LA area

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A Mexican national convicted in the attempted murder of a peace officer was among 112 foreign nationals captured during a federal sweep of "convicted criminal aliens" in the Los Angeles area by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (KABC)

A Mexican national convicted in the attempted murder of a peace officer was among 112 foreign nationals captured during a federal sweep of "convicted criminal aliens" in the Los Angeles area by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, officials said Thursday.

All of the 100 men and 12 women had criminal histories and were taken into custody during the four-day operation, which concluded Wednesday night.

Officials said 62 had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges and assault.

ABC7 reporter Marc Cota-Robles rode along with ICE agents during some of the busts. After each arrest, the person is brought to an ICE staging facility in downtown Los Angeles to be processed.

Officers said a convicted man from La Puente was originally deported in 1994. ICE plans to reinstate his prior order and deport him again. However, another person who was arrested during the bust will be deported for the first time.

Martha Arozquta, a Mexican citizen, said she stayed out of trouble since a felony drug conviction in 1992 until she took the fall again on new drug charges this year.

"I'm 44. Been in the United States for 42 years," she said. "I had issues when I was young - young and dumb. I got into trouble, I did," she said.

Her green card makes her a lawful permanent U.S. resident but because of those convictions, she's headed for immigration court for a final ruling on whether she's allowed to stay.

"The judges look at these on a case-by-case basis, but what really weighs heavily on these cases is their criminal record," said David Marin, deputy field office director for ICE.

Arozquta said she'll fight to stay, especially for her five children who were all born in the U.S.

"Just be the mother they need...and to keep supporting my kids and try to have them finish school and do the best they can in life," she said.

Those with outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the U.S. illegally after being deported, were subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining arrestees were expected to be processed administratively for removal from the U.S., officials said.

Among those arrested during the ICE operation were:

-A 64-year-old Mexican man arrested in unincorporated Riverside County near Hemet July 17 who has a 1996 conviction for attempted murder of a peace officer.

-A 46-year-old man from Tonga arrested July 17 in Rancho Cucamonga who has a prior conviction for assault with a deadly weapon.

-A 37-year-old Salvadoran gang member arrested in L.A. July 18 who has a lengthy rap sheet, including previous convictions for burglary, attempted burglary, receiving stolen property and DUI.

-A 45-year-old Mexican man arrested July 19 in L.A. who was previously convicted of assault to commit rape and failure to register as a sex offender.

Those taken into custody were from 11 different countries. Eighty-nine of them were from Mexico, seven from El Salvador, five from Guatemala and two each from Belize, Honduras, Vietnam and Egypt. Others were from the Philippines, Tonga, United Kingdom and Azerbaijan.

Of the six Southern California counties, Los Angeles County accounted for the largest number of apprehensions, which was 56, followed by San Bernardino County with 16.

See Marc's exclusive ride along with ICE agents in the video above.
Related Topics:
newsICEimmigrationdeportationarrestcrimeLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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