In a massive, four-day sweep for migrants with criminal records in the United States, more than 240 people were arrested in Southern California alone, authorities said Monday.
244 foreign nationals each with at least one felony conviction on record were in the hands of Immigration and Customs Enforcement by Thursday night, LA Times reports.
An ICE spokesperson claimed it was the most successful bust of its kind in the area, but that crime would still continue among migrants.
“One of the challenges we’re facing is because of state law and local policies is more individuals who are potentially deportable with significant criminal histories are being released onto the street instead of being turned over to ICE,” spokesperson Virginia Kice said. “I think to infer from (the sweep) that potentially foreign nationals are committing more crimes is flawed.”
191 of those detained were Mexican, according to the agency, while others were nationals of France, Ghana, Peru and Thailand, among others. Some had felonies for weapons or sex abuse, while others were convicted of “significant or multiple misdemeanors,” ICE said in a news release.
However, some of those detained were not in the country illegally and were documented, but faced deportation due to a crime.
Those who have not been deported before and found to have illegally re-entered the country or aren’t facing new charges will have an administrative hearing with a judge, LA Times reports.
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