Several Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents were having a meeting Tuesday at a 7-Eleven parking after an unsuccessful search for illegal immigrants who had been ordered to leave the country, when they were approached by a group of day laborers looking for work. The day laborers admitted they were in the country illegally after they asked the ICE agents whether they needed workers. 24 criminal aliens were taken into custody in all.

ICE spokesperson, Marc Raimondi said, “Today’s operation was not planned, but nevertheless, when we encounter immigration status violators, our mandate is to enforce the law.”

ICE has reported that 6 of those arrested had criminal records in the United States; 8 had previously either been deported or escorted back to the border to leave the country voluntarily, but had reentered the country yet again; and 1 had already been caught six times trying to enter the country from Mexico prior to this arrest. As for the nationality of those arrested, 10 are from Honduras; 8 from Mexico, 5 from El Salvador, and 1 is from Peru.

Of course some Hispanic advocates have condemned the arrests, and accused ICE of unfairly going after day laborers that appear to be of Latino descent. “They focused on people who look like me,” said Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA. “We believe that is unacceptable. It is discrimination.”

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