This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com.
Let me be clear, I am no fan of President Trump’s immigration rhetoric and recent immigration executive orders. But in looking at the recent immigration enforcement surge we need to take three deep breaths and separate known facts from speculation as we remain vigilant.
First, the facts. During the week of February 9, 2017 there was an Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) surge. Preliminary information from ICE indicates that this was a targeted enforcement sweep of immigrants defined as criminals.
Coordinated ICE sweeps targeting undocumented criminals are nothing new. Such surges took place routinely during the Obama administration.
For the sake of comparison let’s zoom in on the Los Angeles sector – one of the most immigrant populous regions of the country. Less than a year ago, in mid July of 2016, 112 foreign nationals were apprehended in an ICE sweep targeting at-large criminals. About half of these individuals had felony convictions and the remaining had misdemeanors. Last week in the same Los Angeles sector, 160 foreign nationals were apprehended; of which 150 had criminal histories and five had final orders of removal. (more…)