'Targeted' immigration operations in Chicago are 'routine,’ not part of Trump crackdown: officials

Immigration officials said Friday evening they are conducting regular “targeted enforcement” operations in Chicago they say aim to apprehend deportable foreign nationals.U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Spokeswoman Gail Montenegro declined...

'Targeted' immigration operations in Chicago are 'routine,’ not part of Trump crackdown: officials

Immigration officials said Friday evening they are conducting regular “targeted enforcement” operations in Chicago they say aim to apprehend deportable foreign nationals.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Spokeswoman Gail Montenegro declined to say if there was a surge recently in the operation or detail how many, or if any, arrests have been made.

“The focus of these operations is no different than the routine, targeted arrests carried out by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams on a daily basis,’’ an emailed statement from ICE said.

The operations are conducted professionally and respectfully, according to ICE.

Federal agents conduct sweeping immigration enforcement raids in at least 6 states Abigail Hauslohner, Lisa Rein, Sandhya Someshekhar

U.S. immigration authorities arrested hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least a half-dozen states this week in a series of raids that marked the first large-scale enforcement of President Donald Trump's Jan. 26 order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally.

...

U.S. immigration authorities arrested hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least a half-dozen states this week in a series of raids that marked the first large-scale enforcement of President Donald Trump's Jan. 26 order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally.

... (Abigail Hauslohner, Lisa Rein, Sandhya Someshekhar)

In Los Angeles, immigration officials said they arrested more than 160 people – most of them with criminal history – during an operation this week across Southern California. 

The arrests, which officials there have also described as routine and not part of a crackdown promised by President Trump, have sparked fear and anger in immigrant communities.

“ICE regularly conducts targeted enforcement operations during which additional resources and personnel are dedicated to apprehending deportable foreign national,’’ according to the statement. The focus of these operations is no different than the routine, targeted arrests carried out by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams on a daily basis.’’

Pew report: More than 2.5 million immigrants live illegally in Chicago, L.A., NYC Amy Taxin

A report released Thursday estimates more than 2.5 million immigrants in the country illegally live in the metropolitan areas of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, which have pledged to fight President Trump's plans to expand deportations. The study by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center provides...

A report released Thursday estimates more than 2.5 million immigrants in the country illegally live in the metropolitan areas of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, which have pledged to fight President Trump's plans to expand deportations. The study by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center provides...

(Amy Taxin)

David Marin, the director of Enforcement and Removal Operations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles, said the actions taken this week were planned before Trump took office and were comparable to a similar weeklong operation taken last summer that resulted in 200 arrests.

Marin said roughly 75% of the people arrested this week had prior felony convictions for crimes that included “sex offenses, assault, robbery and weapons violations.” Most of the 161 people arrested this week had been targeted for removal based on past criminal convictions, but Marin admitted a few people were swept up because they were found to be undocumented while other arrests were being carried out.

Those were individuals that are in the country illegally, so they had no documentation or any right to be here in the country,” he said.

Fact check: Are recent immigration raids result of Trump policy? Alicia A. Caldwell

Advocacy groups say that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are rounding up people in large numbers around the country as part of stepped-up enforcement under President Donald Trump.

They say a roundup in Southern California was especially heavy-handed and cite arrests in places such...

Advocacy groups say that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are rounding up people in large numbers around the country as part of stepped-up enforcement under President Donald Trump.

They say a roundup in Southern California was especially heavy-handed and cite arrests in places such...

(Alicia A. Caldwell)

“The rash of these recent reports about ICE checkpoints and random sweeps and the like, it’s all false, and that’s definitely dangerous and irresponsible,” Marin said. “Reports like that create panic, and they put communities and law enforcement personnel in unnecessary danger.”

ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said it was not immediately clear how many of those arrested in California this week had been deported. Marin also sharply criticized activist groups that characterized the operation as an indiscriminate series of raids, claiming such allegations put law enforcement officers and residents at risk.

The Los Angeles-area operation was carried out in conjunction with similar actions in New York City, Atlanta and Chicago, according to Kice, who said it was not uncharacteristic for ICE operations to coincide in major cities. Kice could not immediately provide arrest statistics for the operations in other cities.

Los Angeles Times reporter James Quelly and Chicago Tribune reporter Rosemary Regina Sobol contributed to this report.

rsobol@chicagotribune.com

@RosemarySobol1

james.queally@latimes.com

@JamesQueallyLAT

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