U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Fugitive Operations Teams in California have arrested 905 people in a three week operational sweep across California.
At the conclusion of the three week operation 905 people were arrested and according to ICE, 73 were immigration fugitives which are illegal aliens that have ignored final orders of deportation or who returned to the United States illegally after being removed.
Over 40 percent of the illegal aliens taken into custody have had criminal histories and were in the country illegally.
Among those arrested by the Fugitive Operations Teams locally was a 30-year-old Mexican national who was convicted in 1997 for robbery and sentenced to four years in state prison. Last year, Cesar Hernandez-Gallardo lost his appeal to remain in the United States and failed to depart after being ordered deported by an immigration judge. ICE officers also arrested a 37-year-old Mexican national at his residence in Escondido, whose criminal record includes a prior conviction for burglary. He was ordered deported last June and lost his appeal to remain in the United States last month. The other criminal arrests included violent crimes for assault with a deadly weapon, carjacking, domestic violence and sexual assault.
According to Robin Baker who is the field officer director for ICE detention and removal operations in San Diego, "ICE is committed to restoring integrity to this country's immigration system and that means ensuring that the removal orders handed down by the nation's immigration courts are carried out. As a country, we welcome law-abiding immigrants, but foreign nationals who violate our laws and commit crimes in our communities should be on notice that ICE is going to use all of the tools at its disposal to find you and send you home."
Those that had already been ordered to be deported will be immediately removed from the United States and over half have already been deported back to their home countries.
The remaining illegal aliens are in custody and are awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.
ICE has 75 teams deployed across the country and due to their success, Congress has given ICE authorization to add 29 more Fugitive Operations Teams in fiscal year 2008.