SANTA ANA, Calif. – U.S. immigration authorities said Monday they arrested more than 1,150 people in California in a three-week sweep, the state's largest of its type since 2003.
The sweep targeted immigration violators including those who have ignored deportation orders or returned to the U.S. illegally after being deported.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice said it was the largest such action by fugitive enforcement teams in California since the squads were formed in 2003.
Kice said of the 1,157 immigrants arrested statewide, 595 had outstanding deportation orders and 346 had prior criminal convictions. Those arrested were from 34 countries, she said.
The raids, which ended Saturday, produced 436 arrests in the San Francisco area, 420 in the Los Angeles area and 301 in the San Diego area.
In recent years, immigration officials have increased enforcement at factories, offices and homes. One of its major pushes has been to target illegal immigrants who have flouted deportation orders.