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But some local and state lawmakers, in California and elsewhere, confirmed reports from immigrant-rights groups about expanded operations by immigration authorities, putting a spotlight on enforcement in the wake of a Trump executive action that lifted numerous Obama-era restrictions on who agents should and shouldn't target. Salas also explained how one man was detained while working at a Target store in the San Fernando Valley.

Indeed, while ICE claimed its detentions in Los Angeles targeted people with violent criminal records, CHIRLA said that many people detained on Thursday had no criminal convictions to speak of.

Reports of immigration "raids" across Southern California, including Ventura County, on Thursday prompted a protest in downtown Los Angeles and a call from a state lawmaker for federal officials to state the nature of their actions.

In the executive order titled "Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements", section 10 of the order states the executive branch empowers "state and local law enforcement agencies across the country to perform the functions of an immigration officer in the interior of the United States to the maximum extent permitted by law".

In a separate incident coming in that city, an ICE officer was briefly hospitalized after being injured during the arrest of a man during a traffic stop.

The resistance is needed: early Friday, reports emerged that ICE is now conducting raids in Atlanta, Georgia.

While they are calling it a "surge", they also said they've been operating routinely in targeting immigrants with criminal histories.

The raids triggered protests in downtown Los Angeles late Thursday that blocked an entrance to the 101 Freeway.

"ICE actions like these are beyond reprehensible".

Starting at around 11 a.m. Thursday, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles started receiving word from attorneys in their network that people were being picked up by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with calls from community members who had witnessed ICE activity. "Trump and his allies will do everything they can to divide Americans, invoke fear in vulnerable neighborhoods, and demonize an entire community of people".

ICE agents have not released data on how many people were detained on Thursday and told local news station KTLA that arrests were "routine" - not the beginning of the mass deportations promised by President Trump during his campaign. This partly reflected the Obama administration's emphasis on deporting serious criminal offenders. "These were coordinated raids", Salas said of what ultimately became deportations.

"Yesterday was not an ordinary day", she said.