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ICE arrests 188 in SoCal during 5-day operation

Numerous priority non-criminal offenders arrested are so-called "arriving aliens", who have recently crossed the border illegally, according to ICE figures.

In all, 188 people were taken into custody between Saturday and Wednesday, with 169, or 90 percent, having prior criminal convictions, ICE officials said.

A five-day operation conducted by immigration officials this week resulted in nearly 200 arrests in the Los Angeles area, with two in Glendale, according to authorities. Almost 75 percent of those arrested during that period this year are convicted criminals.

Those arrested include a 29-year-old Salvadoran man who had been deported after serving a nine-year prison term for rape, and a 51-year-old Mexican man who served three years in state prison for cocaine trafficking. Among these listed convictions, 43 were drug offenses, 27 were domestic violence incidents, 30 were DUIs and 15 were sex crimes, according to the statement.

"By taking these individuals off the streets and removing them from the country, we're making our communities safer for everyone", said David Marin, field office director for ERO in Los Angeles.

ICE representatives said the "expanded enforcement operation" occurred over five days and spanned six counties, including Santa Barbara. The majority of those held - 146 - were from Mexico, but they also hail from Armenia, Thailand, El Salvador, Vietnam, Cambodia, Russia, Yugoslavia, the Philippines, Honduras and Guatemala. Eight people face federal prosecution for returning to the US illegally after being deported. In the Trump administration, they are able to arrest anyone in violation of immigration law.

The arrests follow Trump administration vows to pump up immigration enforcement.

Federal authorities say over 41,000 people have been arrested since the beginning of this year, a 40 percent increase compared to the same period in 2016.

ICE claims they have made more than 41,000 arrests across the nation, since President Donald Trump signed his first executive order on immigration enforcement, an increase of 40 percent from the same period a year ago. "He's been a valued member of his family and community for decades and they seem to be going after people for a conviction that's as old as 1992".

According to figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection this week, more than 700,000 citizens of foreign countries who entered the U.S. past year at airports or at sea ports overstayed their visas.

In Southern California, however, arrests have remained relative flat, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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