The latest string of immigration raids have come very close to home. Last week, federal agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took part in a five-day immigration sweep throughout San Diego County with the goal of apprehending and removing criminal immigrants at large.
During the sweep 53 undocumented immigrants were arrested including immigrants who were not criminals but had final deportation orders issued by the Immigration Court. 10 of the 53 arrested had been previously deported. These individuals were said to have re-entered the United States after previous deportations or had been found in violation of federal immigration laws. According to USCIS, those detained were of Mexican and Guatemalan nationality and were picked up in Santee, Vista, Encinitas, Chula Vista, Escondido, Oceanside, San Diego, and Imperial Beach.
Gregory Archambeault, the field office director of the San Diego Office for Enforcement and Removal Operations defended the actions adding that these types of operations, “reflect the vital work ERO officers do every day to uphold public safety and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls.”
Those individuals who were apprehended for criminal violations had committed mostly non-violent criminal offenses including: vandalism, hit-and-runs, larceny, drug offenses, and driving under the influence. According to information released by ICE among those who had been arrested was a Mexican national convicted of heroin possession with intent to sell, two Mexican nationals facing driving under the influence charges, and another Mexican national faced a charge of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The last large-scale enforcement operation in San Diego County occurred in Mid-March where 115 individuals were arrested during the course of a three-day operation. Individuals arrested during this operation included a gang member convicted of various crimes including grand theft, possessing a controlled substance for sale, and driving while intoxicated. Another had been convicted of spousal abuse, including battery, inflicting injury and threatening to terrorize, was ordered removed in the past, and had been deported on 10 prior occasions.
To learn about your rights and what to do during an immigration raid please click here.