Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times, July 21, 2016
More than 100 immigrants with criminal convictions were arrested during a four-day sweep in Southern California, federal officials announced Thursday.
The operation spanned Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and targeted 112 immigrants who had been released after serving previous sentences–but who could not be held for deportation under state law.
The arrested were immigrants who were involved in gang activity or had three or more misdemeanor convictions or a conviction for a “significant” misdemeanor such as a DUI. Some of those arrested this week were in the country legally, officials said.
Though everyone who was arrested is subject to deportation under federal law for their previous crimes, most were released back into the country after serving their past sentence because of a state law that took effect in January 2014, said David Marin, deputy field office director for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s office in Southern California.
The so-called Trust Act bars local law enforcement from detaining defendants with most minor convictions past their release dates in order to hand them over to ICE, but it allows jurisdictions to turn over people with past felony convictions.
The nationality of those arrested breaks down as follows: 89 were from Mexico, seven from El Salvador, five from Guatemala, two each from Belize, Honduras and Vietnam, and one each from Egypt, the Philippines, Tonga, the United Kingdom and Azerbaijan.