The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said Friday agents arrested 20 people in San Diego for final removal from the country as part of a week-long operation dubbed Operation Cross Check VII.
An ICE spokeswoman said it was a routine enforcement action and not part of the rumored nationwide deportation sweeps scheduled to begin Sunday.
Officials originally said San Diego was not one of the target cities where the raids were planned to take place. President Donald Trump said in June “massive deportations” were scheduled to take place. He then backed off the threat, resurrecting it last week as he signed a $4.6 billion emergency border aid bill passed by Congress.
The immigration enforcement agency said the “five-day enforcement surge focused on immigration fugitives with a final removal order and a criminal conviction(s) or a criminal charge.”
A news release posted online Friday said the arrests included a 31-year-old man from Oceanside who had previously been sentenced to 144 days for a DUI conviction and is a Mexican national.
It also included a 33-year San Diego man who had previously been removed to Mexico seven times.
ICE said records show the 33-year-old man had two additional DUI arrests and was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon. He was removed from the United States on Tuesday, an ICE spokeswoman confirmed.
ICE Spokeswoman Lauren Mack said there were 20 arrests of those targeted by the operation and seven “collateral arrests,” which is an arrest of someone who may not have final deportation orders but is in the same location where the operation takes place and was possibly previously deported.
Of those arrested, 85 percent had prior criminal convictions or prior criminal charges, she said.
Convictions for those arrested included drugs, weapons offenses, hit-and-run, driving under the influence, theft, domestic violence, evading law enforcement and fraud criminal offenses, the agency said in a news release posted online Friday.
President Donald Trump told reporters Friday that sweeping immigration raids were set to begin this Sunday.
“It starts on Sunday and they’re going to take people out and take them back to their countries, or they’re going to take criminals and put them in prison or put them in prison in the countries they came from,” Trump told reporters in Washington as he boarded Marine One. “We are really specifically looking for bad players but we’re also looking for people who came into our country not through a process, they just walked over a line, and they have to leave.”