Federal authorities arrested 31 people, including nearly two dozen illegal immigrants, in San Diego County during an operation targeting criminal immigrants last week, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Sixteen of the 31 individuals arrested were North County residents, according to ICE. The arrests took place in Chula Vista, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, La Mesa, Oceanside, San Diego, San Marcos and Vista.
The three-day operation, which ended Friday, was conducted by ICE as part of the agency’s efforts to prioritize the deportation of criminal illegal immigrants and illegal immigrants who have been deported before, officials said.
“(ICE) is committed to working hard to make our communities safer by arresting and removing convicted criminal aliens and those who blatantly ignore their deportation orders without regard for our nation’s laws,” said Robin Baker, field director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations in San Diego.
Among those arrested was a 51-year-old Mexican man, whose name was not released, convicted of committing lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14, according to ICE. He is facing deportation, officials said.
Another man arrested during the operation was a 55-year-old Mexican man with a criminal history that includes domestic violence, drunken driving, theft and possession of a controlled substance, according to ICE. He was deported to Mexico last week, officials said.
The 25 men and six women arrested during the operation include foreign nationals from three countries; Mexico, Guatemala and Russia.
Of those arrested during the operation, 23 were illegal immigrants with prior criminal convictions whose crimes included sex crimes, domestic violence, embezzlement and possession of narcotics, officials said.
The group also included five immigration fugitives with outstanding orders of deportation and 18 previously deported illegal immigrants.