The Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Wednesday that a statewide enforcement operation that wrapped up last weekend resulted in the arrests of more than 125 immigrants across California, nearly 100 of them in the Los Angeles area.
The enforcement effort, dubbed "Operation Rise,'' took place from Sept. 18 to Oct. 3, and "targeted aliens subject to removal who were arrested for crimes but were released by state or local law enforcement agencies, despite having active immigration detainers in place,'' a DHS statement said.
More than 95% of those arrested during the operation that targeted so-called sanctuary cities had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges, according to the DHS.
"Unfortunately, certain local politicians, including many in California continue to put politics over public safety,'' said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf. "Instead of fulfilling our shared mission to protect our communities, they would rather play politics with the law by enacting so-called Sanctuary City policies to the detriment of our country's safety. Operation Rise is proof-positive that we will never back down from enforcing the rule of law, with or without the cooperation of local politicians.''
In the Los Angeles area, officers arrested nearly 100 "unlawfully present individuals'' with criminal histories that include homicide, sexual assault, sex crimes involving children, assault, robbery, domestic violence and DUI, federal officials said.
Arrests made during the enforcement action included:
-- the Sept. 29 arrest in Los Angeles of a 40-year-old citizen and Salvadorian national, who was convicted in Los Angeles Superior Court of first-degree murder in November 2009 and was released despite an immigration detainer lodged with the county jail, according to DHS. He is now in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.
-- the Sept. 28 arrest in Long Beach of a 50-year-old citizen and national of Mexico, who was convicted in Los Angeles Superior Court of conspiracy to commit second-degree murder in June 1994. He had a final order of removal and was deported back to Mexico the same day.
"All those in violation of immigration law may be subject to arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States. ICE takes many factors into account when targeting and arresting individuals, including their criminal and immigration history," a DHS statement reads.