LOS ANGELES (AP) — Immigration agents have arrested 112 people in a four-day sweep in Southern California aimed at deporting ex-convicts from other countries.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement made the arrests in Los Angeles and other counties in an operation that ended Thursday. Those with deportation orders could return to their countries immediately, while the rest will go before an immigration judge.
Many of those arrested had been released from jail under a 2014 state law that prevents local law enforcement agencies from holding immigrants convicted of lesser crimes once they serve their sentences, ICE Deputy Field Director David Marin told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/2aec4d9 ).
In some cases, immigration officials take custody of convicts upon their release from jails in California. In others, the convicts are released into the community and immigration agents go out to re-arrest them, as they did this week.
“My greatest fear, and what keeps me up at night other than keeping these officers safe, is that we will not be able to get to these individuals in time,” Marin told the Press-Enterprise (http://bit.ly/29ScLXx). “Is that person going to commit some other crime?”
Some of those arrested this week were in the country legally. Criminal convictions can cause immigrants to lose their legal status.
Eighty-nine of those arrested were from Mexico, according to ICE.
One was 46-year-old convicted sex offender Carlos David Martin Ojeda. Ojeda, who has no legal status, spent two years in prison and was rearrested at his Chino mobile home early Tuesday, the Press-Enterprise reported.
Authorities also arrested a Tongan man convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and a Salvadoran man with burglary and DUI convictions, according to ICE.