ICE arrests hundreds in 'enforcement surge'

September 29, 2008 12:03:20 PM PDT
More than 400 people in Northern California, including Bay Area residents, are facing deportation by federal immigration authorities after a three-week enforcement operation that netted 1,157 arrests statewide, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials reported today.

Of the 436 arrested in Northern California for allegedly being in the country illegally, 185 are considered immigration fugitives, or those who have either ignored deportation orders or who have returned to the U.S. after being deported, ICE officials said.

The three-week "enforcement surge" ended Saturday, according to ICE.

Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Julie Myers said in a statement that a greater deployment of ICE's fugitive operations teams has contributed to record arrests this year of immigration fugitives.

"ICE is committed to enforcing these outstanding deportation orders and strengthening the integrity of our nation's immigration system," Myers said.

More than 20 percent of the Northern California arrests were of people who had criminal histories, ICE officials said.

One man, Jose Duran-Porras, 36, who was arrested at his home in San Pablo on Sept. 11, was a previously deported Mexican citizen with prior convictions for drug possession and receiving stolen property, according to ICE.

Duran-Porras is also scheduled to be prosecuted by federal authorities for allegedly making false statements on a passport application and for allegedly re-entering the country after deportation, according to ICE.

ICE officials said their fugitive operations teams target immigration violators posing a threat to national security or community safety, and that since October 2007, the number of immigration fugitives nationwide has decreased by more than 34,000, to approximately 560,000.


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