After a five-day raid last week, ICE arrested a total of 188 undocumented immigrants throughout the Southern California area. According to ICE officials, 90% of those detained have previous criminal convictions. Of those arrested, some will face criminal charges and stand trial, but most will be immediately processed and deported.
Although more than 75% of those arrested are Mexican nationals, immigrants from several other countries were affected as well. Most notable is the arrest of a 29-year-old Salvadoran man who was convicted of rape and sentenced to jail for nine years. He later re-entered the United States illegally and now faces federal criminal charges.
In a statement made by ICE official David Marin in regard to this string of arrests, “By taking these individuals off the streets and removing them from the country, we’re making our communities safer for everyone” (Time).
Our Verdict: Across the country, the number of arrests of non-criminal undocumented immigrants is rising immensely. While the ICE-reported percentage shows that California is keeping these numbers comparatively low, the question remains why the 19 men and women without criminal pasts were included in the raid, and immigrant advocates continue to question the basis for these arrests.