As many as 172 undocumented immigrants who had immigration detainers in place were arrested during a series of sweeps conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] in sanctuary cities.
The agency said the arrests took place from October 3 through October 9 in Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Seattle, Denver, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York, where immigrants are shielded by local governments who don’t comply with ICE policies.
ICE said that more than 80% of the individuals arrested were convicted or had pending charges.
ICE agents have arrested 300 undocumented immigrants since September 28 in sanctuary cities. At least 172 were detained from October 3 through October 9 during operations that took place in Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Seattle, Denver, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York
ICE agents gather during the first phase Operation Rise as the agency targeted sanctuary cities in California from September 28 to October 3. ICE made the arrest of 128 undocumented immigrants who in the past were released from local or state law enforcement custody but had immigration detainers that called for their removal from the United States
The detentions are part of the agency’s ‘Operation Rise,’ as agents target undocumented immigrants in sanctuary cities ahead of the presidential election on November 3.
Agents arrested more than 50 immigrants who were unlawfully residing in New York and had criminal histories, including sexual assault, sex crime, assault, robbery, larceny, family neglect and DUI.
On October 8, ICE agents in New York detained a 64-year-old man from Panama who in May 2010 was convicted for ‘sexual conduct against a child in the 2nd degree.’ That same day, a 61-year-old man from Peru was apprehended for his February 2016 ‘conviction conviction for committing a criminal sex act in the 3rd degree with a minor.
Both men have been placed in ICE custody pending deportation.
Also on October 8, ICE agents in Virginia arrested a 28-year-old Mexican national who had been previously deported in 2013. The man reentered the United States following his removal and was arrested three times for felony forgery, identity theft and driving without a license. The agency filed three immigration detainers with the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail, but he was released each time.
‘Last fiscal year, 86% of people arrested by ICE had criminal convictions or pending charges. ICE focuses its resources on those who pose the greatest threat to public safety,’ said Acting DHS Secretary Chad F. Wolf.
‘The men and women of ICE put their lives on the line every day to keep these individuals off the streets. The Department will continue to carry out lawful enforcement actions in order to keep our communities safe, regardless of whether or not we have cooperation from state and local officials. Politics will not come before safety when enforcing the law and keeping our citizens safe.’
From September 28 to October 2, ICE agents apprehended 128 undocumented immigrants in the Los Angeles area.
Most had previous convictions that included murder, sexual assault, sex crimes involving children, assault, robbery, domestic violence and DUI.
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have cities where local governments don’t comply with ICE policies.
‘ICE continues to protect communities by taking criminal [undocumented immigrants] off the streets regardless of any locality’s cooperation policies – which is part of our Congressionally mandated mission,’ said ICE Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director Tony H. Pham. ‘Officers and agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are sworn federal law enforcement officers who enforce U.S. immigration laws created by Congress to keep this country safe.’