Hysteria in California as 160 illegals arrested

Fears of a massive round up of illegal aliens in California were ginned up by illegal alien activists as immigration authorities carried out a routine operation to arrest those who ignored deportation orders or were convicted of felonies in the US.

The operation netted about 160 illegals. Since there are about 2.4 million illegals in southern California, you have to wonder why thousands protested the "round up" of criminal aliens in downtown Los Angeles.

There were other arrests across the country, mostly in big cities. But considering the panic that activists have generated over these routine sweeps by ICE - carried out in the Obama administration as well - it's a fair question to ask if the hysteria is justified.


Across the United States, some unauthorized immigrants are keeping their children home from school. Others have suspended after-school visits to the public library. They have given up coffee shop trips and weekend restaurant dinners with family.

Some don't answer knocks on their doors. They're taping bedsheets over windows and staying off social media. Nervous parents and their children constantly exchange text messages and phone calls.

From New York to Los Angeles, a series of immigration arrests this week have unleashed waves of fear and uncertainty across immigrant communities.

"There are people that I work with who essentially want to go dark," said Cesar Vargas, one of the first immigrants without legal status in New York state to be sworn in as a lawyer.

"They don't want to be public in any way whatsoever. They spend less time on the street. They go to work and go straight back home. They don't go on Facebook. They put curfews on themselves."

The fear started to set in after President Donald Trump's inauguration last month, according to advocates. It heightened after Thursday's deportation of an undocumented Arizona mother of two who was making a routine visit with immigration officials. And Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents this week carried out numerous actions in California, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Texas and other states.

The arrests come amid court battles over Trump's proposed ban on immigrants from seven majority-Muslim nations. The president has also vowed to deport some 3 million undocumented immigrants who have criminal records and to build a wall across the porous US-Mexico border.

'Missing from school out of fear'

That Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Friday night the United States has not been "rounding anyone up" is of little solace in longtime immigrant enclaves across the nation.

"There are teachers who told me they had students missing from school out of fear," said Greg Casar, a city council member in Austin, Texas.

"I was with a constituent, a single mother with kids -- good, hardworking everyday folks -- and she had duct-taped sheets up and down her windows. ICE had come and knocked on her door earlier in the day."

The arrests number in the hundreds. Again, with 11 million illegal aliens in the US, how does a routine ICE operation become immigration Armageddon?

The panic has been artificially generated by immigration activists looking to fundraise off the actions of the government, immigration lawyers looking for new customers, and politicians who want to preen in front of a camera, holding forth about how tragic it is that the government feels it necessary to enforce the law.

But none of those self-aggrandizing outcomes can happen unless you terrify people about what the government is doing. So in that context, the hysteria mongering by people who know better can be justified.

The tale of the tape in California is revealing:

One ICE operation in the Los Angeles area this week targeted criminals and fugitives. The agency said the majority of those arrested had criminal histories.

ICE said Friday that about 160 foreign nationals were arrested during the week.

Of those, 150 had criminal histories, and of the remaining arrests, five had final orders of removal or were previously deported.

ICE said 95% of those arrested were male. By Saturday, 37 had been deported to Mexico, a Homeland Security official told CNN.

How is getting criminal aliens off the streets and out of the country a threat? It's a topsy turvy world we live in when it's considered wrong to deport those who can do American citizens harm.



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