"This operation targeted public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens, gang members, and individuals who have violated our nation's immigration laws, including those who re-entered the country after being deported and immigration fugitives ordered deported by federal immigration judges".
Officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) division say of those arrested, 169, or nearly 90 percent, had prior criminal convictions, primarily drug offenses, DUIs and domestic violence.
She also said enforcement operations such as this week's arrests are fairly routine and that ICE conducts two to three of them a year.
Of the 188 individuals arrested, 169 had prior convictions, the most prevalent of which were drug offenses, domestic violence and driving under the influence.
This latest operation netted 43 people with narcotics offenses, 27 with domestic violence crimes, 30 with DUI convictions, 6 with assault offenses, 2 case of vehicle theft, and 3 cases of fraud, according to ICE. "By taking these individuals off the streets and removing them from the country, we're making our communities safer for everyone", Los Angeles ICE Field Director David Marin said in a statement. Others were from Armenia, Cambodia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Philippines, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam and Yugoslavia. Eight people face federal prosecution for returning to the USA illegally after being deported.
"With the new administration, anybody that's in violation of the immigration laws. are subject to arrest". Smaller numbers were identified as Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Armenian and Russian nationals.More news: Trump Administration Leaves 50000 Haitians in Legal Limbo
According to ICE, more arrests were made in Dallas (4,969) than any other city, followed by Atlanta (4,246) and Houston (4,040).
The majority of the arrests, 93, were made in Los Angeles County, with others arrested in five surrounding counties, including Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura.
President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration enforcement issued in February gives ICE agents broader discretion when arresting undocumented individuals.
"His daughter is active-duty military, his son-in-law is active-duty military", Pasquarella said.
At least eight people arrested now face federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation, which is a felony and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, officials said. Homeland Security databases indicated the man arrested in Los Angeles was deported in 2013 after serving a nine-year prison term, but returned to the United States illegally.
The largest increase in arrests during Trump's first 100 days compared to the same period in 2016 occurred in Dallas, which saw an increase of 2,383 arrests.