U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has an ongoing national enforcement initiative dubbed "Operation Broken Promise," aimed at finding and removing illegal aliens who broke their pledge to depart the United States voluntarily. On Tuesday, ICE's Removal Operations (ERO) Atlanta Field Office announced the local results of the initiative.
In Atlanta, ERO officers arrested seven individuals who failed to depart the United States as agreed. All seven illegal aliens had prior criminal convictions. The arrests were made between Dec. 7 and Dec. 17. Among those arrested were two criminal aliens from Mexico and an illegal alien from Guatemala convicted multiple times for driving under the influence.
"An immigration judge granted these individuals who had entered the United States illegally the chance to voluntary depart the country at their own expense to avoid many of the immigration consequences associated with being deported," said Thomas Giles, field office director of ICE ERO in Atlanta, Georgia. "Instead of taking advantage of that opportunity, they continued to disregard U.S. law at every turn and breached their promise to the U.S. government that they would depart the country by a certain date."
According to ICE, voluntary departure is typically requested by an alien and granted by an immigration judge. If granted, the alien typically has about 60 to 120 days to arrange their own departure. The advantages of self-departure for the alien include lower barriers to readmission than those associated with formal deportation.
If an alien fails to self-depart, the alien will become subject to a final removal order and subject to deportation from ICE. A subsequent illegal reentry after a formal deportation is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.