Immigration officials on Friday confirmed approximately 160 immigrants were arrested in raids conducted in six Southern California counties.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said the raids targeted “at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants, and immigration fugitives.”
Rumors of the raids and checkpoints at traffic lights sent a wave of fear across the Southland. ICE officials initially denied any targeted operations were taking place and said reports that 100 immigrants were detained were exaggerated.
Reports of ICE checkpoints in the Southern California are “all false,” Dave Marin, an enforcement and removal operations director in Los Angeles, told reporters during a press call.
Marin also confirmed there were ICE operations conducted in Atlanta, Chicago, and New York.
Congressman Joaquin Castro reported he was able to confirm ICE is conducing operations in South and Central Texas.
The raids in Southern California began Monday and concluded Friday at noon, local time. ICE said immigrants were detained in 55 communities across six Southland counties.
”ICE and the new administration are clearly trying to sow chaos and intimidate our communities,” said Davíd Abud, an organizer with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network said in a statement sent to Fusion.
Approximately 150 of 160 people detained had criminal histories, according to ICE. Of remaining immigrants without a criminal records who were taken into custody, five had final orders of removal or had been previously deported.
“In the face of these efforts, we will remain vigilant, focused, and organized. We are more emboldened than ever to fight every single deportation and all further attacks on our communities in whatever form they may appear,” Abud said.
An ICE official said more detailed information would be available Monday morning.
“I want to stress that the statistics below are still preliminary given that the five-day operation concluded only hours ago,” ICE spokesperson Virginia Kice said in a statement.