SAN DIEGO — Federal officers arrested 20 alleged criminal aliens and immigration violators in the San Diego area this week during a special enforcement sweep, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials reported Friday.
The five-day crackdown, dubbed Operation Cross Check VII, focused on immigration fugitives with final removal orders and criminal convictions or charges against them, according to ICE public affairs.
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Among the arrestees, 85 percent had prior criminal convictions and/or prior criminal charges, the federal agency reported. Convictions for those arrested included drug crimes, weapons offenses, hit-and-run, intoxicated driving, theft, domestic violence, evading law enforcement and fraud, officials said.
"We will continue to conduct similar operations while seeking to ultimately remove criminal aliens with a final order of removal and other immigration fugitives who pose a threat to public safety," ICE Field Office Director Gregory Archambeault said.
Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for the agency, said she could not comment on whether the sweep was part of a similar effort planned for this weekend across the nation. She did, however, note that this week's local immigration- enforcement "surge" was of a type typically undertaken several times a year.
ICE agents are expected to carry out raids across the country beginning Sunday, targeting an estimated 2,000 people who have been ordered deported. The sweeps are anticipated in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco.
"They're going to take criminals out and put them in prison or put them in prison in the countries they came from," President Donald Trump told reporters this morning. "We're focused on criminals as much as we can."
Trump's deportation raids were decried by protesters who rallied at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego on Friday night, as news of the planned crackdown has sparked outrage among immigrant advocates who contend that the moves are part of an effort to spark fear among immigrant families. They also argue that while raids may target criminals, other immigrants are often arrested during such actions.