Illegal alien drop house busted in Watts

The LAPD and the BICE busted a drop house in Watts in which over 110 illegal aliens were held captive. The house is 1100 square feet, and the doors were chained shut while the smugglers demanded more money. 88 of the aliens are now in BICE custody awaiting deportation.

The smugglers escaped, and the aliens are out thousands of dollars.

While we can occasionally bust drop houses, the more intelligent way to reduce the number of such incidents is to make it unprofitable to hire illegal aliens.

The backstory is the most interesting part of this:

Local law enforcement officials say the only thing unusual about the case is the large number of people found in the house - and the active involvement of federal immigration officials.

LAPD Cmdr. Jim Tatreau said that the department has encountered numerous safe houses and human-smuggling rings that federal officials chose not to handle.

In many of these cases, he said, the immigrants were released into the streets after police ensured that they are in decent health and not victims of other crimes because the LAPD does not have authority to hold them.

LAPD rules prohibit officers from seeking deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants who have not committed a crime, Tatreau said.

City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, whose district includes Watts, said the immigration agency has largely abdicated enforcement responsibilities in Los Angeles.

"The federal government is turning a blind eye to what's happening at the border," Hahn said.