Of those arrested in Southern California, 191 were from Mexico and the rest were from countries like Peru, Thailand and France.
“For four days last week, Sunday through Wednesday, we used our local resources, our fugitive operations team, to target some of our ICE enforcement priorities”, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations deputy field office director David Marin tells KPCC.
In the past, locating and deporting immigrants who had been convicted of crimes was much easier, the Los Angeles Times reported. Those arrested had previously been convicted of a crime and were also either gang members or posed another threat to national security, Marin said.
The number of arrests made are a record, Marin said.
“One of the challenges we’re facing is because of state law and local policies, more individuals who are potentially deportable with significant criminal histories are being released onto the street instead of being turned over to ICE”, agency spokeswoman Virginia Kice said. Fifty-six percent had felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges and drug violations.
Vroom has been employed by ICE and its predecessor, the U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service, since 1988. The majority of those arrested, 99, were from Los Angeles County, with 55 coming from Orange County, 43 from San Bernardino County, 24 from Riverside County, 20 from Santa Barbara County, and three from San Luis Obispo County. “The remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future”, said ICE in a written statement. Of the more than 27,000 people whom ICE arrested nationwide last fiscal year, which ended September 30, 2014, about 78% had criminal convictions, according to ICE data.
Vincente Onofre-Ramirez, a Mexican national convicted in 2002 in New York of sexual abuse with force.
Authorities say immigration agents have arrested more than 240 people with criminal records during a four-day sting in Southern California. Those who have deportations orders in place and those who re-entered the country after being deported will be immediately removed, while the rest will have the opportunity to plead their case before a judge.