US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested 244 undocumented immigrants from 21 different countries, although the great majority came from Mexico. On Monday US authorities revealed that many of the immigrants were convicted criminals living in and around Los Angeles in California.
56% of the arrested immigrants had criminal convictions, including drugs violations, weapons charges, significant or multiple misdemeanors, and child sex crimes, and four of those arrested had been deported on previous occasions, only to return to the United States. These included one man convicted of sexual abuse with force back in 2002 and another convicted of abusing two children, for which he received a 10-year jail sentence.
The sting operation, which was wound up last Thursday, was part of the plan by the Obama administration to catch potentially dangerous undocumented immigrants in the United States. “This operation exemplifies ICE’s ongoing commitment to prioritizing convicted criminals and public safety threats for apprehension and removal,” said David Jennings, the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations field office director. “By taking these individuals off our streets and removing them from the country, we are making our communities safer for everyone.”
The operation took place at a time when the border security issue has become the hot topic for debate for Republican presidential nomination candidates, who do not approve of the immigration policies of President Obama. Controversial billionaire Donald Trump has called for a wall to be built on the border between the United States and Mexico to keep the undocumented immigrants out.