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Tuesday, March 19 , 2019, 3:59 am | Fog/Mist 53º

 
 
 
 
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ICE Sweep Nets 20 Arrests in Santa Barbara County

Officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 20 foreign nationals in Santa Barbara County last week as part of a multi-county sweep of “criminals and individuals who pose a threat to public safety.”

Three others were taken into custody in San Luis Obispo County.

In all, 240 people were arrested in the week-long enforcement action, which encompassed six South California counties — Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo — according to a statement released Monday by ICE.

“The majority (56 percent) had criminal records that included felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges and drug violations,” according to the statement. “The remaining arrestees had past convictions for significant or multiple misdemeanors.”

Four of those arrested had previously been deported after serving time for criminal offenses, ICE said, and are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for felony re-entry after removal from the U.S.

Those detained who are not being criminally prosecuted will be processed administratively for deportation.

Other who already are subject to deportation orders, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country, ICE said.

The remainder are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.

Most of those arrested — 191 — were from Mexico, but a total of 21 countries are represented in the total.

“This operation exemplifies ICE’s ongoing commitment to prioritizing convicted criminals and public safety threats for apprehension and removal,” said David Jennings, field office director for enforcement and removal operations in Los Angeles. “By taking these individuals off our streets and removing them from the country, we are making our communities safer for everyone.”

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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