Hundreds Swept Up in Immigration Sweep

By Eric S. Page
|  Friday, Dec 11, 2009  |  Updated 4:01 PM PDT
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What Agents Found Under the Seats

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Immigration agents have arrested 286 people in California in a huge sweep aimed at rounding up suspected illegal immigrants with criminal records.

Seventy-one people were taken into custody in San Diego.

More than 400 agents and local law enforcement officers fanned out across the state in a three-day search for immigrants with criminal histories who lack the right to remain in the United States, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In addition to the 280 with criminal records, ICE officials said another six people who are under deportation orders were also arrested.

Those in custody are immigrants from countries around the globe, including Bolivia, El Salvador, the Netherlands, Guatemala, Jordan, Denmark, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan and many other countries.
     
ICE chief John Morton said in August that the agency's fugitive operations teams would focus increasingly on finding immigrants with criminal records.

Thirty of those taken into custody were sex offenders, according to federal officials, and at least seven are accused of being gang members.

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