Officials net 761 illegal immigrants

Federal officials fanned out across Southern California over the past week in one of the biggest sweeps of its kind, arresting 761 illegal immigrants ranging from murder suspects to visa violators.

Ending Tuesday, the raids were part of Operation Return to Sender – a national effort by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency that has netted more than 13,000 illegal immigrants nationwide since June 2006.

Some 450 of those arrested have already been deported, or voluntarily returned, to their native countries, ICE officials said.

“Anytime we can take 761 people off the street who have violated the laws of this country is a big success,” said Jim Hayes, Los Angeles field office director for ICE’s detention and removal operations.

The Southern California raids took place in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside and San Bernadino Counties. They included the arrest of two men near Palm Springs wanted for murder in Sinaloa, Mexico.

The men were turned over to Mexican law enforcement officials on Friday.

The majority of those arrested in the Southland were Mexican, but they included nationals from 13 other countries, including India, Japan, Poland, the Ukraine and Trinidad.

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1 Comment

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