U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced Thursday that agents arrested nearly 500 people across the U.S. over the last few days, including 27 allegedly undocumented immigrants in San Francisco and Santa Clara County in a four-day operation that ended on Wednesday.
Twenty-three of those arrested had previous criminal convictions for offenses such as driving under the influence, drug trafficking and assault, the agency said.
ICE spokesperson James Schwab said the operation targeted San Francisco and Santa Clara County because they are sanctuary jurisdictions that do not honor ICE detainers or allow ICE agents to enter jails to interview suspected immigration violators.
Detainers are requests by ICE to local authorities to hold a person for two more days after release from jail.
The operation, known as Bay Area Safe City, was carried out by agents of ICE’s San Francisco field office, whose territory stretches from Bakersfield to the Oregon border.
The home countries of those arrested are Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras, Schwab said.
He said arrestees who have pending orders for deportation or who entered the United States without documentation after being deported are subject to immediate removal.
Some others who are accused of other types of immigration violations are in custody but will be given hearings before an immigration judge, Schwab said.
The arrestees include a Salvadoran man apprehended in San Francisco who was undocumented and has previous convictions for sex with a minor under the age of 16. He was released from local custody before ICE could assume custody, Schwab said.
A Mexican citizen arrested in San Jose overstayed his visa for more than 10 years and was previously convicted of drug trafficking and felony child abuse, Schwab said.
Eight of those arrested had previous convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
There were also two cases of drug trafficking convictions and one case each of assault, battery, burglary, contempt of court, cruelty toward a spouse, dangerous drugs, disorderly conduct, drug trafficking, drug possession, larceny, sexual assault, other sex offense, traffic offense and vehicle theft, according to ICE.
People with active status in the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program were not targeted, ICE said.
ICE also arrested 101 people in the Los Angeles area.