Local rumors of impending immigration raids started almost as soon as President Donald Trump was sworn in in January, and last week, the rumors turned out to be true.
U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials arrested 54 foreign nationals in seven California counties from June 5-9, with the largest number of those arrests—19—occurring in Monterey County.
Arrests were also made in Santa Cruz, Fresno, Merced, Tulare, Madera and Kings counties.
These arrests mark an uptick in immigration enforcement action.
"Since President Trump signed the executive orders regarding immigration enforcement priorities, ICE has arrested more than 41,000 individuals nationwide who are either known or suspected of being in the country illegally, a nearly 40-percent increase over the same period in 2016," according to a statement sent by ICE.
Within Monterey County, seven people were arrested in King City; six in Greenfield; four in Salinas; and two in Soledad.
Soledad became the first Monterey County city to designate itself as a sanctuary city since Trump's election.
Of the 54 people arrested, 45 have prior criminal convictions, according to a statement by ICE. Most of those criminal convictions, 16, are for DUIs. Seven are for drug offenses and five are for illegal entry or re-entry to the U.S.
There are also violent crimes among those convictions: six for domestic violence, one for battery and one for sex crimes, as well as three for weapons violations.
All except one of those arrested are from Mexico. The other is from El Salvador.