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2 Filipinos detained in Southern California immigration sweep

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LOS ANGELES — Two Philippine nationals were among 244 foreign nationals arrested during a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) four-day sweep in Southern California.

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One of the men was 31 years old with convictions for battery and felony burglary, and was arrested in Los Angeles on Monday, August 24. The other was a 39-year-old with convictions for battery, petty theft, felony burglary and two convictions for being under the influence of a controlled substance. He was arrested in Moreno Valley on Sunday, August 23.

ICE only released the names of arrestees being held on administrative immigration violations, Virginia Kice, ICE western regional communications director and spokesperson, told the Asian Journal in an email.

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As of Thursday, September 3, both Filipino men remained in custody pending removal proceedings, ICE Public Affairs spokeswoman Lori Haley said in an email.

The Southern California sweep, which took place from August 23 through August 26, was the most successful, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations deputy field office director David Marin told KPCC. This was because of the number of arrestees who had records with “really serious felonies,” Marin told the radio station.

“We think it’s really important that we get those people and remove them, not only from the community but from the country. Because ultimately, that’s going to make the community and our country safer,” Marin said, according to KPCC.

The majority of individuals taken into custody as a result of the four-day operation are originally from Mexico (191), according to a release from the agency. Arrestees came from 21 different countries, including Ghana, France, Peru and Thailand.

The sweep covered six Southland counties, with most number of arrests occurring in Los Angeles County (99), followed by Orange County (55), San Bernardino County (43), Riverside County (24), Santa Barbara County (20), and San Luis Obispo County (3), the ICE release stated.

Yet despite the success of the sweep, Kice said it would be inaccurate to conclude that crimes committed by immigrants are on the rise. Kice also told the Los Angeles Times that not all those arrested in the sweep were violent felons or were in the United States illegally.

“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,” Kice said, according to the Times.

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“I think to infer from [the sweep] that potentially foreign nationals are committing more crimes is flawed.”

Individuals arrested during the sting who have pending deportation orders or re-entered the country after being deported are subject to immediate removal from the United States, according to the ICE release.

The remaining arrestees are in the custody of the agency and will have a hearing before an immigration judge, or are pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.

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TAGS: Filipinos caught in immigration sweep August 2015, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE, U.S. immigration sweep Southern California
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