U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced Thursday that agents arrested 27 allegedly undocumented immigrants in San Francisco and Santa Clara County in a four-day operation that ended on Wednesday.
Twenty-three of those arrested had previous criminal convictions for offenses such as driving under the influence, drug trafficking and assault, the agency said.
ICE spokesman James Schwab said the operation targeted San Francisco and Santa Clara County because they are so-called sanctuary jurisdictions that do not honor ICE detainers or allow ICE agents to enter jails to interview suspected immigration violators.
Detainers are requests by ICE to local authorities to hold a person for two more days after release from jail.
The operation, known as Bay Area Safe City, was carried out by agents of ICE's San Francisco field office, whose territory stretches from Bakersfield to the Oregon border.
The home countries of those arrested are Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras, Schwab said.
He said that arrestees who have pending orders for deportation or who entered the United States illegally after being deported are subject to immediate removal.
Some others who are accused of other types of immigration violations are in custody but will be given hearings before an immigration judge, Schwab said.
Among those arrested is a Salvadoran man, who was apprehended in San Francisco. He entered the country illegally and has previous convictions for sex with a minor under the age of 16. He was released from local custody before ICE could assume custody, Schwab said.
A Mexican citizen arrested in San Jose overstayed his visa for more than 10 years and was previously convicted of drug trafficking and felony child abuse, Schwab said.
Eight of those arrested had previous convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
In addition, there were in total two cases of drug trafficking convictions and one case each of assault, battery, burglary, contempt of court, cruelty toward a spouse, dangerous drugs, disorderly conduct, drug trafficking, drug possession, larceny, sexual assault, other sex offense, traffic offense and vehicle theft, according to ICE.
People with active status in the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program were not targeted, ICE said.
ICE Acting Director Tom Homan said in a statement from Washington, D.C., "ICE's goal is to build cooperative, respectful relationships with our law enforcement partners to help prevent dangerous criminal aliens from being released back onto the streets."