Friday, January 26, 2007
Immigration officials are conducting a series of raids dubbed "Operation Return to Sender." One of the biggest took place this week in Southern California, where more than 750 undocumented immigrants were arrested and are subject to possible deportation. John Torres, second in command at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, talks with Madeleine Brand of NPR. Click here for a link to the audio.
Torres talks about a number of topics including the threat of some of the undocumented immigrants, who were convicted of violent crimes, to the greater community and the raid of the Swift meatpacking plants. He emphasized that the operation does not focus on all undocumented immigrants but only on the most dangerous ones. There have been, however, press reports of noncriminal undocumented immigrants being arrested.
Press reports estimate that Operation Return to Sender has resulted in the arrest of somewhere around 13,000 undocumented immigrants since it commenced in June 2006. There are an estimated 10.5-12 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.
The Associated Press reports (here) that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, in comments made following a speech earlier this week at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., says immigration reform, not more than raids like those in the Los Angeles area, are needed..