Blog Archive

Friday, September 30, 2011

Federal immigration crackdown includes 18 arrests in Sacramento area

By Stephen Magagnini
The Sacramento Bee
Thursday, Sep. 29, 2011

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the arrest Wednesday of more than 2,900 immigrants convicted of crimes, including 18 in the Sacramento area.

The weeklong raids across the country reflect ICE's focus "on the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens that threaten the public safety of our communities here in Northern California," said Timothy Aitken, field office director of ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations in San Francisco.

That office supervised the arrest of 186 immigrants in the Bay Area and the north state who are considered fugitives or have criminal histories.

The 18 arrested in the Sacramento region came from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, the Philippines and Uzbekistan, said Michael Vaughn, assistant field director for ICE in Sacramento. Only one was a legal permanent resident, Vaughn said, and all are facing possible deportation.

"They were convicted of crimes ranging from DUI to voluntary manslaughter," Vaughn said. "I've got drug cases, spousal abuse cases, transportation to sell narcotics, possession for sale, carrying a concealed weapon, willful cruelty to child, battery on a peace officer and theft."

Six of those arrested were ICE fugitives who had already been ordered removed by an immigration judge, but then disappeared, Vaughn said.

Seven others arrested in Sacramento are facing deportation for their convictions, but still will have their day in court before an immigration judge, Vaughn said.

Five more were previously deported criminal aliens who had returned to the United States and were apprehended again. They included a 52-year-old Mexican national who had been deported after being convicted of voluntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon. He was arrested by Sacramento's fugitive operations team in Stockton and faces federal prosecution for illegal re-entry after deportation, a crime which can bring up to 20 years in prison, Vaughn said.

Those arrested in the Central Valley were picked up as far north as Chico, as far south as Modesto and as far east as Roseville, Vaughn said.

ICE said it's targeting immigrants who present the greatest security risk to public, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security. The agency is also tracking those who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.