USA arrests hundreds in immigration raids

Protestors against deportation and immigration raids close off a section of Aliso Street in downtown L.A. on Feb. 9 2017

Officials with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, meanwhile, released more detailed information about the 161 people who were detained in the weeklong Southern California operation.

He wrote that the targeted effort ended in the arrest of 680 immigrant fugitives, including criminals and gang members, under a federal deportation order.

Roughly 75% of the 680 immigrants arrested in the raids last week had criminal records, including convictions for homicide and aggravated sexual abuse to drug trafficking and driving under the influence.

"ICE regularly conducts targeted enforcement operations during which additional resources and personnel are dedicated to apprehending deportable foreign nationals", the statement added.

President Donald Trump has directed the Department of Homeland Security to target illegal aliens who have violated USA immigration laws, but with a special focus on those who threaten public safety, Kelly added.

Kelly said the "targeted enforcement operations" ― the government seldom uses the word "raids" ― took place in the Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio and New York City areas.

"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.

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Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told reporters at an event sponsored by the conservative Heritage Foundation. Griffith says he will gladly listen to what demonstrators have to say.

Immigration officials say they aren't. For example in the Midwest, where arrests were made in six states, 163 of the individuals who were apprehended had criminal convictions, according to an ICE fact sheet. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly maintains the raids are done completely legally. "Look, for people who have committed serious crimes, bank robbery, assault - yes, of course they should be deported".

Although an ICE spokesperson told ThinkProgress via email that the enforcement operation concluded on Friday, there's some evidence the raids continued through the weekend.

"It creates a lot of fear in the community".

It is too early to say if deportation arrests have increased under the new administration. They want to know if the raids are the start of a significant spike in the deportation of immigrants under the Trump administration.

Almost 40 foreign nationals were detained in Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in New York City, according to a memo released by organization.

The bulk of those arrested were from Mexico, while others hailed from countries including El Salvador, Guatemala, China, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Honduras, Belize, Philippines, Australia, Brazil, Israel and South Korea.

"Those were individuals that are in the country illegally, so they had no documentation or any right to be here in the country", he said. An analysis of federal immigration records by the Marshall Project past year found that 60 percent of all immigrants deported between November 2014 and April 2016 were those who had no criminal conviction or whose only crime was immigration-related, such as illegal entry or re-entry.

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