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US enforcement agency nets Indians in scam

india Updated: Sep 11, 2006 16:55 IST
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Indians are among the 107 people arrested for immigration violations in California.

The arrests were made in the course of a sweep last week by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the cities of Hollister, San Benito County, and Watsonville and Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County, reports said.

Apart from Indians, those arrested in the ICE sweep, dubbed 'Operation Return to Sender', include immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador.

While 44 have been deported, one was turned over to local authorities because of an outside arrest warrant for driving without a licence and possession of a controlled substance, a report in the San Francisco Chronicle quoted Lori Haley, an ICE spokesperson, as saying.

According to another report in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, those arrested were foreign nationals with final orders of deportation, criminals and other immigration violators.

"We know who we are going to look for," Haley said. "They have been ordered to leave by a judge and they are ignoring those orders."

According to the Sentinel report, two lawyers specialising in immigration said that their offices have been flooded with people reporting that family members had been taken from their homes into federal custody for deportation.

Lawyers Doug Keegan of the Santa Cruz County Immigration Project and Alisa Thomas said that most of those arrested were men who had been brought to the US by their parents while they were children.

Further details of those who have been deported were not available.

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