Los Angeles, CA (CNN) – A massive crackdown this week by U-S immigration and customs enforcement officials netted more than 200 arrests in southern California.
ICE agents say a vast majority of those taken into custody are convicted criminals. Businesses were targeted too.
Federal ICE agents gave us this video shot during a five day crackdown in southern California.
They arrested more than two hundred people who they say are in the country illegally.
ICE reports eighty eight percent of the people they targeted had also been convicted of crimes.
Last night protesters chanted outside the metropolitan jail where detainees are held.
Some demonstrators blocked an immigration enforcement van.
This week ICE agents also went after businesses hiring undocumented workers.
“This is not a raid, this is an administrative audit.”
Agents issued 122 notices of inspection to workplaces.
Any employers who end up cited could face fines or criminal prosecution.
Mike Poindexter, company owner: “They said you think it’s ok to hire illegals? I said I’ve got a person with three american-born children, U.S. Citizens, and I have to fire both their parents.”
Mike Poindexter is CEO of his family’s nut processing company near Fresno – they were targeted in another wave of ICE audits.
He says his company isn’t in a position to question the legitimacy of green cards.
He also says they’ve taken a financial hit, and are now having a hard time filling open jobs.
Mike Poindexter, company owner: “Whether trump gets his wall or not, it doesn’t fix it. Put up a wall. You have a no trespassing sign and a help wanted sign on the same dang wall.”
The ICE deputy director says Los Angeles is one example of a sanctuary jurisdiction.
That forces his officers to make a number of at-large arrests, outside of safe confines of a jail.
That he says, increases the safety risk for his officers and the general public.