More Than 1,100 Arrested in Cal Immigration Sweep
The Associated Press/Washington Post
Monday, September 29, 2008; 2:28 PM
SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Federal immigration authorities say more than 1,150 people have been arrested in a special three-week sweep in California.
The sweep targeted those who ignored deportation orders or returned to the U.S. illegally after being deported.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice said Monday that more than 400 of those arrested were from Los Angeles and several Southern California counties.
ICE teams from San Francisco and San Diego also participated in the sweep, which concluded Saturday.
© 2008 The Associated Press
Federal agents target those who ignored deportation orders or returned to the U.S. illegally. More than 400 are arrested in the Los Angeles area.
By Francisco Vara-Orta, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 30, 2008
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Federal immigration agents arrested more than 1,150 people in the largest collective sweep by specialized enforcement teams in California, authorities said today.
The sweep targeted those who ignored deportation orders or returned to the United States illegally after being deported, said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice.
The raids, which ended Saturday, produced 436 arrests in the San Francisco area, 420 in the Los Angeles area and 301 in the San Diego area.
Of the 1,157 illegal immigrants arrested statewide, 595 had outstanding deportation orders and 346 had prior criminal convictions, Kice said. Those arrested come from 34 countries.
The squads responsible for the arrests, known as fugitive operations teams, were developed in 2003 to focus on apprehending foreign nationals who have ignored final orders of deportation or have returned to the U.S. illegally, Kice said.
The most prominent cases involve those wanted or convicted in violent or drug crimes, agency officials said.
"Individuals who defy immigration court orders to leave the country need to understand there are consequences for willfully disregarding the law," said Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers, who oversees the federal immigration agency.
One L.A.-area case involved Jose Avila, 41, a Mexican national whose criminal history includes convictions for lewd acts involving a child and for battery. He was arrested Sept. 15 in Santa Fe Springs. After he is released by local authorities, Avila will be returned to federal custody for prosecution on felony charges of reentering the country after his deportation last year.