Fear is running high in immigrant communities since the inauguration of President Trump and after an undocumented Arizona mother of two was deported after a routine visit by immigration officials. There were reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE) officials were to go nationwide and step up their action.
These are the first efforts by ICE under the Trump administration to arrest targeted undocumented immigrants for deportation proceedings. Trump claimed credit for the raids with a tweet; "The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!"
In Los Angeles, ICE said it had conducted a five-day operation targeting criminals and fugitives and said the vast majority of those arrested had criminal records. Seeking to show that the raids were not discriminatory, the ICE Los Angeles office said 160 foreign nationals were arrested of those, 150 had a criminal record, and of the remaining arrests, five had final orders of removal or were previously deported. Ninety-five percent were male, they said.
A Homeland Security official said that 37 of those detained by ICE had now been deported to Mexico and were people who had been expelled but came back illegally, or had deportation orders against them. For this group, the adjudication process was not necessary because they had already received deportation orders, the official said.