With masks at the ready, ICE agents make arrests amid California coronavirus lockdown

California

In the darkness of the early hours Monday, about a dozen immigration agents gathered outside a Starbucks in Bell Gardens.

For the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, who make daily arrests, it was supposed to be business as usual.

But that morning, they greeted one another with elbows instead of handshakes; the Starbucks where they rendezvoused was only grab and go; and they passed freeway signs that read: “Wash your hands stay healthy avoid COVID-19.”

The ICE agents were about to spend the day trying to arrest targets on a most unusual of days: the day after the California governor and L.A. mayor ordered people to ramp up their efforts of social distancing over the coronavirus. The agents had N95 respirator masks in their vehicles, just in case.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

  • David A. Marin, a director of enforcement and removal operations with ICE, is seen in this photo on March 16, 2020. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)
  • David A. Marin, a director of enforcement and removal operations with ICE, is seen in this photo on March 16, 2020. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)
  • About a dozen immigration agents took part in the raids on March 16, 2020 amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)
  • "We're out here trying to protect the public by getting these criminal aliens off the street and out of our communities," says David Marin, the director of enforcement and removal operations for ICE in L.A., on March 16, 2020. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)
  • "We couldn't factor this in, right? This COVID-19 and the precautions that everybody's taking," said David Marin, far left, during a raid on March 16, 2020. "We just have to continue to go with the same game plan that we've been doing." (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)
  • Marco Correa, center, is escorted by detention officers at the Enforcement and Removal operation Processing Center in downtown Los Angeles on March 16, 2020. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)
  • Pedro Castillo Bravo sits in a Removal Operations Processing Center in downtown Los Angeles after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents made early morning arrest on March 17, 2020. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)
  • On the way to conduct immigration raids on March 16, 2020, officers passed freeway signs reading "Wash your hands stay healthy avoid COVID-19." (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)
  • All officers were issued protective masks over the last few weeks. Dvid Marin, seen on March 16, 2020, kept packets of hand sanitizer in his car. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)
  • David A. Marin, left, a director of enforcement and removal operations with ICE, looks on as a man is taken into custody before dawn on March 16, 2020. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

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