Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) announced Friday afternoon that they arrested 86 criminal aliens and other illegal immigrants during a three-day enforcement action operation earlier this week.
Federal officers targeted “criminal aliens” in North Texas and Oklahoma, but also arrested other immigration violators, such as those who came into the country legally and overstayed their permission or immigrants who committed criminal acts that would make them eligible for deportation. The press release states that “of the 86 arrested, 55 had criminal convictions; 82 were men and four were women. They range in age from 19 to 61 years old." Those arrested hailed from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Jordan, Laos, Liberia, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, and Zimbabwe. Criminal aliens differ from illegal aliens in that they have been convicted of another crime in the United States in addition to living in the country without authorization.
“Most of the aliens targeted by ERO deportation officers during this operation had prior criminal histories that included convictions for the following crimes: sexually exploiting a minor, assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, drug possession, burglary, obstructing police, larceny, manufacturing methamphetamine, firearms offense, smuggling, receiving stolen property, illegally entering the U.S., and driving under the influence (DUI),” the press release continues.
“This operation focused on targeting immigration fugitives and criminal aliens in North Texas and the state of Oklahoma, but we routinely conduct operations daily,” said Bret Bradford, field office director of ERO Dallas told the press. “By removing criminal aliens from the streets, our ICE officers provide a valuable community service by improving public safety.”
A week ago, ICE announced the arrest of 46 criminal aliens and other immigration violators in upstate New York.
“Operations like this one demonstrate ICE’s continued focus on the arrest of dangerous criminal aliens as well as those who enter the United States illegally,” said Thomas Feeley, field office director for ERO Buffalo, said at the time. “Illegal aliens will not find safe harbor in New York.”
This increased movement by ICE under President Donald Trump is in stark contrast to the previous administration. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a "Congressional Research Service report released in August 2012 found that over a 33-month period, between October 2008 and July 2011, more than 159,000 illegal aliens were arrested by local authorities and identified by the federal government as deportable but nevertheless released back onto the streets."
According to last week's press release, "ICE continues to focus its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy. However, as ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan has made clear, ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States."