244 immigrants with criminal records arrested in Southern California ICE sweep

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There were 244 immigrants arrested in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sweep last week, ICE announced Monday.

"For four days last week, Sunday through Wednesday, we used our local resources, our fugitive operations team, to target some of our ICE enforcement priorities," ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations deputy field office director David Marin tells KPCC.

ICE teams fanned out throughout seven counties in Southern California, Marin said. Those arrested had previously been convicted of a crime and were also either gang members or posed another threat to national security, Marin said.

"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.

The number of arrests made are a record, Marin said.

"We've done seven of these over the past six years, and this has been our most successful in terms of quantity and quality," Marin said.

He added that it was the most successful in terms of quality because of the number arrested who had records that included "really serious felonies." According to an ICE news release, 56 percent had felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, including child sex crimes, weapon charges and drug violations. The rest had records including significant or multiple misdemeanors, according to the release.

Four of those arrested had previously been removed from the country, including Vincente Onofre-Ramirez, who was previously convicted in 2002 of "sexual abuse with force," according to the release.

Those arrested come from 21 different countries, according to the release, though the majority — 191 — come from Mexico. Most of the arrests, 99, were in Los Angeles County, with 55 in Orange County, 43 in San Bernardino County, 24 in Riverside County, 20 in Santa Barbara County and 3 in San Luis Obispo County.

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