This portion of the yearlong "Operation Return to Sender" took place primarily in Concord and Richmond and targeted fugitives who had ignored final deportation orders, said Timothy Aitken, deputy director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's detention and removal office in San Francisco.ICE
is the agency that now performs the enforcement functions of the old Immigration
and Naturalization Service.
Agents also picked up 94 other undocumented immigrants they encountered in the process, he
Latino community advocates said the enforcement action has sown fear in East Bay immigrant communities.
Just over half of those arrested were Mexican citizens, he
said.The rest were from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, India, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Fiji and Brazil.
Of the 119 people arrested, 18 were criminals, said Aitken
, including people who had been convicted of possession of a controlled substance, possession of dangerous weapons, annoying and molesting children, disorderly conduct and driving under the influence with prior convictions.
"We want to go after the worst of the worst; we go after people who have ignored a judge's order," Aitken
said the three fugitive operations teams he
manages make similar arrests every day and not just as part of specific campaigns.His
teams are trying to track down almost 15,000 people between Bakersfield and the Oregon border who have absconded from deportation orders, he