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Nearly 300 illegal immigrants arrested in San Diego, Calexico

March 8, 2010 |  6:37 pm

Nearly 300 illegal immigrants, some with criminal records, were arrested during the weekend attempting to enter the United States from Mexico in the San Diego and Imperial Valley areas, authorities said Monday.

At border checkpoints including San Ysidro and Calexico, 294 immigrants were found hidden in vehicles, or were using fraudulent entry documents or documents legally issued to someone else,  the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said. Among those arrested were 16 fugitives wanted on charges of battery, burglary, assault and probation violation.

A Guatemalan national showed border agents a U.S. birth certificate and federal Bureau of Prisons release authorization form with his photo. But suspicious officers at the San Ysidro crossing questioned the man and determined that the documents belonged to another person, the Homeland Security Department said.

The man was arrested and transported to the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles to await arraignment for allegedly making a false claim to U.S. citizenship, the department said.

--Robert J. Lopez