Immigration arrests in L.A. spark fear, outrage, but officials say they are routine


Arrests made by federal immigration officials in Southern California this week have heightened anxiety about a promised crackdown by President Trump on people in this country illegally.

The arrests sparked a protest in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday evening, with immigration advocates claiming that about 100 people had been taken into custody. But immigration officials disputed those numbers and said the arrests were part of routine activities, not tied to any new crackdown.

The situation highlighted fear among many immigrants about Trump’s vow to deport those here illegally. Los Angeles and Orange counties are home to 1 million immigrants living without proper papers, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Pew Research Center. 

Some politicians said they were demanding answers from federal authorities about the arrests. Meanwhile, local police were fighting concerns that they were somehow involved in new immigration actions. Many law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles Police Department, have vowed not to take part in the mass deportations Trump and his supporters have promised.

The Pomona Police Department put out an alert Thursday night warning of social media hoaxes claiming the agency was taking part in immigration checkpoints. Similar rumors circulated last week as well. Police officials decried them as “fake news.”

“There is information that is out there that is wrong,” said Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Bob Green, adding that his department would not participate in any federal immigration sweeps. “We are working hard with the immigrant communities to dispel fears.”

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