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California's 40th District

Jun 23, 2023 | In The News

Santa Ana, CA – On Friday, June 16, U.S. Representative Young Kim (CA-40) welcomed Speaker Kevin McCarthy to Orange County to meet with local and federal law enforcement hosted by Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer to discuss the ongoing increase in home invasions in Southern California by Chilean nationals as part of South American Theft Groups (SATGs).

The Members of Congress met with FBI and DHS officials and then had a roundtable with local law enforcement, including Brea Police Chief Adam Hawley, Tustin Police Captain Duane Havourd, Anaheim Police Chief Jorge Cisneros, and Orange Police Chief Dan Adams.

“I’ve heard many stories of families in my district victimized by these home invasions and burglaries. In fact, in the City of Laguna Hills alone, there have been 84 reported burglaries with ties to these groups in the last six months. This is an urgent public safety and national security problem right here in our backyard,” said Rep. Young Kim. “I am glad Speaker McCarthy could come here to Orange County to learn more about this and hear firsthand from victims as well as local and federal law enforcement. I will keep fighting for solutions to keep our communities safe and ensure our laws are enforced.”

 “The men and women of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department are working hand in hand with our law enforcement partners to stop transnational burglary crews from victimizing our residents.  These efforts are hindered when repeat offenders have the ability to exploit the VISA waiver process to commit crime.  The federal government must take action to ensure the process prevents those with criminal intent from entering our country,” said Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes.

“We have 13 residential burglaries this year alone that match the description of burglaries committed by SATG crews. Although we don’t have any arrests yet in connection with these crimes, knowing what’s going on in other cities around us, the descriptions and method of operation is consistent. We have our hands full dealing with crime committed by those who reside in our region. So, also dealing with crimes committed by people coming from other countries makes our job even tougher. We at the Orange Police Department are committed to our countywide collaboration to apprehend these criminal groups who are targeting our communities,” said Dan Adams, Chief of Police, Orange Police Department.

“Over the past two years, the number of residential burglaries in our community has exploded. The suspects responsible for these crimes have terrorized our neighborhoods, causing residents to be fearful in their own homes. The men and women of the Brea Police Department, in partnership with our allied law enforcement agencies and our District Attorney, Todd Spitzer, remain committed to keeping our communities safe through our relentless efforts to apprehend those responsible for these crimes. We are most grateful for Speaker McCarthy, Representative Calvert, Representative Steel, and Representative Kim’s support of our efforts,” said Adam Hawley, Chief of Police, Brea Police Department.

“I want to thank Speaker McCarthy, Rep. Young Kim, Rep. Ken Calvert, Rep. Michelle Steel, Assemblyman Vince Fong, and Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer for their commitment to public safety and collaboration with law enforcement to address the problems with the Visa Waiver Program.  I am confident their leadership will reduce the exploitation of the Visa Waiver Program and positively impact the safety of our communities,” said Jorge Cisneros, Chief of Police, Anaheim Police Department.

Rep. Kim recently led a bipartisan letter with Orange County Reps. Lou Correa (CA-46) and Mike Levin (CA-49) to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines on the issue.

Southern California Reps. Michelle Steel (CA-48) and Ken Calvert (CA-41) also joined the discussions. 

South OC Times

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