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Immigration officials focus on interior enforcement

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say they've beefed up interior enforcement around San Diego County away from the border. They say they're going after illegal immigrants who have already been ordered deported from the United States but remain in the country. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in San Diego arrested 20 illegal immigrants in an operation that began earlier this week. That leaves about 5,400 so-called immigrant fugitives in the county.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Lauren Mack says the operation is phase two of President Bush's plan to control the border that was announced last month.

Mack: "And as part of that plan ICE has implemented specific goals and one of those goals is beefed up fugitive operations where you've got a team out there seeking to arrest and locate immigrant fugitives."

Mack says in the course of these operations it is common to also arrest people who are in the home or the vicinity of the person being targeted because they are in the country illegally too. Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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