The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency arrested 54 people in seven central California counties targeting what it calls “at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants, and immigration fugitives.”
Of those arrested during the operation, which was spearheaded by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations division, 45 had prior criminal convictions. The immigration sweep started Monday and ended Friday. Nine arrested in the sweeps had no criminal conviction.
Of those arrested, 29 were from Fresno, Madera, Merced, Kings and Tulare counties.
Among those arrested was a Mexican national in Madera whose criminal record includes a prior conviction for carrying a concealed weapon. Sixteen had DUI convictions, seven had drug convictions, six domestic violence and three weapons violations, according to ICE records.
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54ICE arrested 54 people in Central California for immigration violations
Among those arrested, five were for illegal entry or reentry, a group of undocumented immigrants who were protected before the Trump administration came into office.
Those arrested for illegal entry are not typically targets of immigration officers, but they could get swept up in the raids, said James Schwab, a San Francisco-based spokesman for ICE.
The weeklong operation targeted public safety threats, including convicted criminal aliens and immigration fugitives ordered deported by federal immigration judges.
“ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations officers identify, arrest, and remove aliens who present a danger to national security or are a risk to public safety, as well as those who enter the United States illegally or otherwise undermine the integrity of our immigration laws and our border control efforts,” said David Jennings, a field office director in San Francisco. “Operations like this… target and arrest convicted criminals and other immigration fugitives make our communities safer for everyone.”
Some of the individuals arrested during this week’s enforcement action will be presented for federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Those not being criminally prosecuted will be processed for removal from the country. Individuals who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country.
They don’t let us know and we’re not involved with ICE in those raids.
Margaret Mims, Fresno County sheriff
Overall, 52 men and two women were arrested. One was form El Salvador. All others were from Mexico, ICE reported.
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said her department wasn’t involved in any of the arrests, which took place in Fresno, Sanger and Reedley, according to ICE reports.
“They don’t let us know and we’re not involved with ICE in those raids,” she said. “I haven’t heard of one law enforcement agency in Fresno County that wants to be involved in going out into the community and helping with ICE raids.”
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer also said his officers don’t participate with ICE in its enforcement efforts.
“We don’t do any immigration enforcement at all, nor do we inquire about a person’s immigration status,” the chief said. “If there are any ICE operations occurring, we’re not a part of it and we’re not aware of it.”