Newspaper and television reporters had been informed of the event and were standing by.
About 20 members of Americans for Border Control were there too, carrying placards that read, "Don't Let the USA Become a Third World Nation."
Then at 6:30 a.m. as promised, 16 Immigration and Naturalization Service agents appeared and began chasing down and arresting suspected illegal aliens on Chapman Avenue in Orange, where laborers gather in hopes of being hired for daywork.
Cameras clicked and the picketers cheered. By 8 a.m., 123 suspected aliens had been arrested and were being readied for transport to the Border Patrol checkpoint south of San Clemente in preparation for possible trips to Mexico.
The raid had been called by INS Regional Commissioner Harold Ezell, who said he was reacting to a request from Americans for Border Control, a group composed mostly of Ezell's personal friends and members of his church.
The group's president, Bill Butler, co-owner of a business along that stretch of Chapman Avenue between Hewes and Yorba streets, said he had passed petitions among merchants asking Ezell to call the raid and rid the streets of illegal aliens.
"It's amazing to me that (Ezell) continues to perform these circus stunts which do nothing to alleviate immigration problems," said state Sen. Art Torres (D-Los Angeles).
Amin David, president of Los Amigos of Orange County, accused Ezell of using Americans for Border Control as an excuse to perform highly publicized "commando raids."
Nonsense, Ezell said. "That's just their smoke screen to discredit the fact that Orange County is running wild with illegals."
Last week's raid is only the first of many planned for Orange and Los Angeles counties, Ezell said.