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244 Arrested in Four-Day Immigration Sweep Across Southern California

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Jorge Field of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations makes his way to the raid to apprehend an immigrant without legal status who may be deportable in Riverside. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

More than 240 people were taken into federal custody last week across Southern California after a four-day sweep for immigrants with criminal records in the country illegally, authorities announced Monday.

The enforcement action ended Thursday with 244 foreign nationals in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement — the majority of them with at least one felony conviction on their record, authorities said.

It was the most successful four-day sweep of its kind in the region, ICE said. But an ICE spokeswoman cautioned against concluding that crime involving immigrants is up.

“One of the challenges we’re facing is because of state law and local policies, more individuals who are potentially deportable with significant criminal histories are being released onto the street instead of being turned over to ICE,” agency spokeswoman Virginia Kice said. “I think to infer from [the sweep] that potentially foreign nationals are committing more crimes is flawed.”

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