Immigration officials arrested more than 200 people on suspicion of immigration violations during a sweep in northern and central California that ended Wednesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said late Thursday.
ICE arrested 232 individuals who allegedly violated federal immigration laws in the area extending from Bakersfield to the Oregon border, immigration officials said.
Of those arrested, 180 were convicted criminals – had been given a final order of removal but didn’t leave – or were previously deported but returned illegally, according to ICE.
Immigration officials said 115 had prior felony convictions for offenses such as sex crimes, weapons charges or assault. In San Leandro, ICE officers arrested a Mexican citizen with alleged criminal convictions of involuntary manslaughter and domestic violence.
That suspect had been removed but returned, according to immigration officials. In Vallejo, ICE officers arrested a citizen of El Salvador who also had been removed but returned, immigration officials said.
That person allegedly has many convictions for driving under the influence. Some of those arrested will face criminal prosecution for illegal entry and re-entry after deportation, immigration officials said.
Those who are not being federally prosecuted will be processed for removal from the U.S.
Those with outstanding deportation orders, or who came back to the U.S. after being deported, are “subject to immediate removal from the country,” immigration officials said.
The arrests were driven by leads from the local ICE field office, in collaboration with the Pacific Enforcement Response Center and the National Criminal Analysis and Targeting Center.
In a news release, ICE said efforts by local government have shielded “criminal aliens” from immigration enforcement “and created another magnet for more illegal immigration, all at the expense of the safety and security of the very people it purports to protect.”
The comment was a reference to the decision by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf to notify the public last weekend in advance of the massive sweep.
In a press conference Thursday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Schaaf’s warning was “outrageous,” adding that the mayor is under investigation by the Department of Justice.
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