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Officials net 761 illegal immigrants

By Iamseven     Jan 24, 2007 in Crime
Federal officials fanned out across Southern California over the past week in one of the biggest sweeps of its kind, arresting 761 illegal immigrants ranging from murder suspects to visa violators.
The raids, which ended yesterday, were part of Operation Return to Sender, a national charge by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. Operation Return to Sender has led to the capture of more than 13,000 illegal immigrations in the U.S. since June of last year.
450 of those arrested have already been deported or have returned themselves to their country of origin (which, by the way, has NOT always been Mexico, despite what the media says).
"Anytime we can take 761 people off the street who have violated the laws of this country is a big success," said Jim Hayes, Los Angeles field office director for ICE's detention and removal operations.
The raids in SoCal took place in the counties of LA, Ventura, Orange, Riverside and San Bernadino.
Two men who were wanted by the Mexican police for murder were captured in these raids and have been returned to Mexico to face their charges.
Nationals from 14 countries were captured in the raids, including India, Japan, Mexico, Poland, the Ukraine and Trinidad.
Some 75 to 150 officers took part in the Immigration raids. More immigrants were found in Los Angeles County than any other, with the officers making 169 arrests there.
Those illegal immigrants who have been deported after committing crimes in the U.S. who then decide to return to the U.S. will be prosecuted under the felony re-entry after deportation law according to Curtis Kin, assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office.
These raids have critics, however, including the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, whose executive director said that the raids "only promote fear in the community" and that the officer's true target is not just criminals, and that "they are the people that are in the apartments next door that don't have their papers in order. This is more of a show of force than facing the real issue of undocumented migration."
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