The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) recently conducted a large-scale operation across the southern half of California, taking more than 240 immigrants into custody.1 According to officials, the vast majority had been previously convicted of felony or sexual abuse related crimes.2
The operation was in part a reaction by the federal government to changes in how local authorities are handling their interactions with immigrant populations, along with recent high profile incidents involving undocumented immigrants committing serious crimes.3
It is important to note that ICE has emphasized they are only targeting individuals with criminal records, making it important for you to hire effective legal counsel if you are facing criminal charges.
Why Large Scale Sweeps Will Likely Continue
In the past, federal immigration officials relied on local law enforcement to hold immigrants after a criminal conviction under a system known as detainment. The result of this program was the deportation of many immigrants who had only been convicted of minor or non-violent offenses.4
The program spurred protests by immigrant rights activists. In reaction, the California legislature passed a bill barring the practice except in instances of violent or serious crimes.5
This created a new problem for federal immigration officials. No longer could they rely on local jails to hold immigrants until they could be picked up by federal agents. So, they developed and implemented a new system known as the National Fugitive Operations Program (NFOP).6
The system uses statistics gathered by the National Crime Information Center to track immigrants previously convicted of crimes who fail to abide by deportation orders.7 Then, relying on this information, they conduct large-scale sweeps like the one which occurred recently in Southern California.
Targeting Immigrants with Criminal Records
With the new program in place, ICE is now able to conduct what they refer to as “targeted enforcement” against immigrants with criminal records.8 This makes it vital to avoid a criminal conviction if you are an immigrant in California. By hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney, not only will you give yourself the best chance of avoiding jail time, you will also reduce the likelihood of deportation.
California is leading the country in developing compassionate immigration policies, and keeping your criminal record clean will go a long way to decreasing your chances of being deported.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, you should immediately speak to one of the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich. A criminal record could impact you for the rest of your life. Our attorneys have been fighting for over 30 years to help our clients achieve the best possible outcomes in their cases. We can help you, too.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is a skilled Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us at (888) 280-6839 for a free telephone consultation. We will be there when you call.