San Diego, California - A total of 48 individuals, including 42 convicted criminal aliens, were taken into custody during a weeklong enforcement operation carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in San Diego this week.

The five-day operation, which concluded Friday, was conducted by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) as part of the agency’s commitment to prioritize the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration violators.

Of the individuals taken into custody, 42 were criminal aliens whose conviction histories included child sex crimes, battery, kidnapping and possession of narcotics. The group also included eight immigration fugitives who had outstanding orders of deportation and 29 previously deported aliens.

Those arrested during the operation include:

  • Two previously deported brothers from Mexico who are convicted sex offenders. One was convicted in California of sexual battery and annoying or molesting children under age 18; the other was convicted of child molestation in Arizona. Both men are in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center pending prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for felony re-entry.
  • A Chinese female who was convicted of kidnapping her husband for ransom in China and served 19 months in prison. She remains in ICE custody pending a hearing before an immigration judge.

"ERO is committed to making our communities safer by arresting and removing convicted criminal aliens," said Gregory J. Archambeault, field officer director for ERO San Diego. "With targeted enforcement operations, we focus our resources on the most egregious offenders, which has an immediate impact on public safety in San Diego-area communities."

The 44 men and four women arrested during the operation include foreign nationals from five countries – China, Guatemala, South Korea, Mexico Saudi Arabia. The arrests took place in Chula Vista, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, National City, Oceanside, San Diego, San Marcos, San Ysidro and Vista.

This week’s enforcement action was coordinated with ICE’s National Fugitive Operations Program, which is responsible for investigating, locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives – aliens who have ignored final orders of deportation handed down by federal immigration courts. ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams give top priority to cases involving aliens who pose a threat to national security and public safety, including members of transnational street gangs and child sex offenders.