Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 150 people in Los Angeles over several days in September. The massive immigration raid included the apprehension of one man who had been convicted of attempted murder and one woman who had been charged with seven drunk driving offenses.
The immigration operation targeted people seen as threats to public safety. ICE officials sought to apprehend people who have allegedly violated immigration laws and been found guilty of other criminal actions. ICE claims that 90 percent of the arrested individuals had been convicted of crimes.
According to one ICE official, the actions and arrests were “targeted enforcement operations” with the intention of enhancing public safety. He claimed that the people they arrested were perceived as dangers to the community.
The agency alleges that 40 percent of those they arrested had been apprehended by local police previously. However, even though ICE had lodged detainers against the individuals, local police reportedly released them. According to ICE, California law SB45 — a “sanctuary state” law — prevents local law enforcement from transmitting these individuals to ICE.
Earlier this year, ICE agents conducted another massive raid that took 212 people into custody over the period of four days. According to the ICE official, the agency is conducting targeted raids on a daily basis. However, he says that agents are not stopping random people to ask them questions or seek to apprehend them.
If you or a family member is currently an undocumented immigrant in the United States, you could be at risk of being apprehended by ICE agents. Therefore, it’s wise to consult with an experienced California immigration attorney to ascertain your legal rights and options.