NEWS ALERT: Nearly 200 arrested in California in new immigration raids

Raids by federal agents resulted in arrests of nearly 200 people in southern California amid a continuing crackdown on illegal immigrants (AFP Photo/Ron Rogers)

Los Angeles (AFP) – Nearly 200 people have been arrested by federal agents in southern California as part of a five-day operation targeting immigrants convicted of crimes or in the country illegally, officials said Thursday.

The crackdown, which ended Wednesday and was spearheaded by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), focused on people with prior criminal offenses including for drug trafficking, rape and domestic violence, authorities said.

“Operations like this are emblematic of the vital work ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers do every day, seeking to locate, arrest, and ultimately deport at-large convicted criminals and other immigration fugitives who pose a threat to public safety,” David Marin, the ERO director in Los Angeles, said in a statement.

“By taking these individuals off the streets and removing them from the country, we’re making our communities safer for everyone,” he added.