An ICE agent makes an arrest
An ICE agent makes an arrest. File photo courtesy of the agency

Federal officers arrested 20 alleged criminals and immigration violators in the San Diego area this week during an enforcement sweep, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Friday.

The five-day crackdown, dubbed Operation Cross Check VII, focused on fugitives with final removal orders and criminal convictions or charges pending, according to ICE.

Among those arrested, 85 percent had criminal convictions and/or criminal charges, the agency reported. The convictions included drug crimes, weapons offenses, hit-and-runs, DUI’s, theft, domestic violence, evading law enforcement and fraud.

“We will continue to conduct similar operations while seeking to ultimately remove criminal aliens with a final order of removal and other immigration fugitives who pose a threat to public safety,” ICE Field Office Director Gregory Archambeault said.

Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for the agency, said she could not comment on whether the sweep was part of a similar effort planned for this weekend. She did note that the local enforcement “surge” was of a type typically undertaken several times a year.

ICE agents are expected to carry out raids across the country beginning Sunday, targeting an estimated 2,000 people. The sweeps are anticipated in major cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Miami and New York.

“They’re going to take criminals out and put them in prison or put them in prison in the countries they came from,” President Donald Trump told reporters Friday morning. “We’re focused on criminals as much as we can.”

News of the planned raids sparked outrage among advocates who contend that the crackdown is an effort to spark unrest among immigrant families. They also argue that while raids may target criminals, other immigrants are often caught up in such actions.

– City News Service