Immigrant advocates decry spate of arrests in LA

Posted February 17, 2017

The raids, targeting illegal immigrants with additional felonies, are part of the first large-scale enforcement operation since President Donald Trump took office. Here and nationally, advocates have been bracing for just such a shift since a January executive order that greatly broadened the nation's priorities for detention and deportation.

Vela, who chairs the Congressional Border Caucus, said "this is like the travel ban;. they throw it out there without much thought, without analyzing it in terms of the real constitutional affects".

"Not only does questioning law enforcement put our communities at risk", Buckingham said in a written statement, "it paints a bull's-eye on the backs of the fearless men and women sworn to protect us under extremely challenging circumstances".

"It sounds as if the majority are people who would have been priorities under Obama as well", Kagan said in a telephone interview.

A series of immigration enforcement operations around the country netted more than 680 arrests, mostly criminals, the Department of Homeland Security said Monday.

We now know what was different about last week's immigration arrests nationwide.

But immigration activists said Friday that they had documented ICE raids of unusual intensity in the last 48 hours in Vista, Pomona and Compton, Calif.; Austin, Dallas, and Pflugerville, Texas; Alexandria and Annandale, Va.; Charlotte and Burlington, N.C.; Plant City, Fla.; the Hudson Valley region of NY; and Wichita, Kan.

Christensen provided a more detailed breakdown of the people arrested by ICE during the surge. The DHS official said one of the executive orders on immigration that was signed by Trump gives individual immigration officers "discretion" to arrest people who are identified during raids that might not have been on the target list.

Raquel Vences, 24, lives in the Cedar Knolls park in Apple Valley with her husband, Federico, who works in construction. But Salas says she finds it troubling that following Thursday's actions, there was little to no communication with the agency. 77 entrance around 5 a.m. Tuesday.

"I have been living there for five years and I've never seen anything like this", she added.

"Dangerous criminals who should be swiftly deported are being released in our community", said David Marin, field office director for ICE, according to the Daily News.

He said 75 per cent of the approximately 160 people detained in the LA operation had serious convictions - meaning the other 25 per cent had minor convictions or were undocumented. Of the 160, ICE claimed that 150 had criminal histories, and that 5 of the remaining 10 had final orders of removal or had been previously deported.

State Rep. Duane Quam, R-Byron, said he has spoken with ICE agents frustrated with the guidelines they had to follow under Obama.

But the administration has also suggested tentative support for one of Obama's moves on immigration. But he said he would welcome a return to broader-based enforcement.

"If we've got a law, we enforce that law", he said.

Garcia said that Trump's anti-immigration rhetoric during his campaign has people anxious.

Raids took place this week in and around New York, Los Angeles, North Carolina, South Carolina, Atlanta and Chicago, immigration officials confirmed - with more than a third of those detained in the Los Angeles area being deported to Mexico. When he couldn't do so, he was detained, she said. Meanwhile, said Chan, "Rumors seem to abound everywhere. Our community is less safe for everyone when immigrants are afraid to report crimes or testify as witnesses to crimes".

Salas says that organizers' next step is to continue to engage elected officials. Or a church can offer sanctuary to house undocumented immigrants.

According to The Washington Post, an official from the Department of Homeland Security has affirmed that even though agents are eyeing criminals, they are also zoning in on non-criminals in the area who are undocumented.

Early Thursday, immigration attorneys in Los Angeles started getting calls from clients across the city.