Hundreds of illegal immigrants arrested over the past week in one of the biggest U.S. stings have been deported, and some are being held for possible criminal prosecution, the Asssociated Press reports. A week-long series of raids in the Los Angeles area targeted illegal immigrants who had previously been deported for crimes or defied final deportation orders. Of the 761 people arrested, more than 450 have already been removed from the country. One Mexican national taken in during the sweeps was charged with illegal re-entry to the U.S. after felony deportation – a crime than can carry up to 20 years in prison.
The raids made public this week were a major push within Operation Return to Sender, a crackdown that has resulted in 13,192 arrests nationwide since late May. Immigration officials have also identified 3,000 inmates in state and local jails who will be deported.