ICE Arrests Nearly 200 In Raids Across L.A. Area, 10% Of Whom Had No Prior Criminal Convictions

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An individual being arrested by an ICE officer during this week's raids. (Photo by Ron Rogers courtesy of ICE)

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested almost 200 people across greater Los Angeles in a five-day operation that concluded on Wednesday. According to an ICE press release, the raids targeted "at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants, and immigration fugitives." Of the 188 people arrested, 19 had no prior criminal convictions. Those not being criminally prosecuted will be processed for removal from the country, and anyone who has an outstanding order of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported is subject to immediate removal from the country.

The raids were conducted across the greater Los Angeles area, with 93 people arrested in L.A. County, 26 arrested in Riverside, and 23 arrested in Orange County. Arrests were also made in San Bernardino, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

The targets were primarily male (more than 90% of those arrested were men) and 146 of the 188 individuals arrested were Mexican-born. Thirteen hailed from El Salvador and 12 were Guatemalan, as well as individuals from Armenia, Honduras, Thailand, Yugoslavia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Russia and the Philippines, according to ICE.

Some of the individuals had serious prior convictions, including a convicted rapist and a previously deported cocaine trafficker. Thirty individuals had DUI convictions and 43 had previous drug-related convictions.

One individual's prior conviction was for prostitution, and another had been previously convicted of trespassing. Three had convictions for illegally entering or re-entering the country. “By taking these individuals off the streets and removing them from the country, we’re making our communities safer for everyone," Los Angeles ICE Field Director David Marin said in a statement.

Fear of increased immigration enforcement since President Trump took office has already had a chilling effect on Los Angeles, a metropolis that is home to nearly a million undocumented immigrants. In late March, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck announced that reporting of sexual assault and domestic violence by members of L.A.'s Latino community had dropped significantly during the first months of 2017, compared to last year. According to Beck, sexual assault reporting by the Latino community was down 25% this year to date, a figure that "far exceeds the reductions of any other demographic group." As of late March, Latino reporting of domestic violence was down by 10% this year to date, a reduction that also outpaces any other demographic group.

Los Angeles has also seen declines in enrollment at art centers, at parks, libraries, and senior centers around the city, according to a March statement by Mayor Eric Garcetti. "We're seeing less people reporting crimes. And we believe that many local families are keeping their kids home, and are backing off of engaging with our law enforcement officials and our public safety officials because they are afraid of what they believe could happen," Garcetti said at the time.