Federal officials on Monday released details about an immigration sweep in Los Angeles and surrounding counties last week that resulted in the arrests of 161 people living in the country illegally.
In response to the protests and panic in immigrant communities that erupted as word spread of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations in Los Angeles and several other cities, federal officials in a statement reiterated their claim that the arrests were not the result of President Trump’s aggressive stance on deportations.
The people targeted had criminal convictions and, in that sense, the raids were no different from operations conducted under previous administrations, the ICE statement said.
Of the 161 people arrested in L.A. and surrounding counties last week, 151 had been convicted of a crime. More than a quarter of those arrested — 42 people — had been convicted of domestic abuse, while an equal number had either drug or assault convictions, according to the statistics released Monday. Seventeen people had been convicted of a sex crime.
Three-quarters of the people arrested came from Mexico, with the rest coming from 12 other countries. Men accounted for most of the arrests, with only seven women in the group.
Some in the group who reentered the U.S. after previously being deported will now face possible criminal prosecution or be deported immediately. By Friday, more than three dozen Mexicans had been deported.
Those caught by immigration authorities for the first time will enter the country’s immigration court system, where an immigration judge will ultimately decide whether to order them deported.
The ICE statement highlighted the more serious criminals in the group, which included a Honduran man who had previously been deported and had convictions for drug trafficking, spousal battery and petty theft, and a Mexican man who already had been ordered deported by an immigration judge and had convictions for drug trafficking, a weapons violation and spousal battery.
The group also included a felon from Jamaica who had prior convictions for a weapons violation, drug trafficking and domestic violence, and an Australian man taken into custody in West Hollywood who was previously convicted of lewd and lascivious acts with a child.
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