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Enforcement and Removal
01/30/2008

3-day ICE operation targeting immigration fugitives nets 20 arrests in Wisconsin

GREEN BAY, Wis. - Twenty foreign nationals face deportation following a three-day enforcement action last weekend by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that targeted fugitive aliens living in the Green Bay area who have outstanding deportation orders against them.

During the operation, which began Jan. 25 and ended Sunday, ICE officers arrested 20 immigration violators living in Green Bay and the surrounding counties. Of that number, 18 of those were immigration fugitives who have ignored final orders of deportation issued by federal immigration judges. ICE officers also arrested two non-fugitive immigration violators, including a Mexican national who had been previously deported.

Those ICE arrested are citizens of the following countries: El Salvador, Honduras, Jordan, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua and Yugoslavia.

"One of ICE's top enforcement priorities is locating and arresting immigration fugitives who flout our laws," said Glenn Triveline, field office director of the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations in Chicago. "We enhance public safety and restore integrity to our nation's immigration system with every arrest we make." Triveline oversees a six-state area that includes: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Kansas and Missouri.

The Milwaukee ICE Fugitive Operations Team made the arrests locally. Fugitive Operations Teams are comprised of officers specially trained and dedicated to tracking down illegal aliens who have outstanding final orders of deportation from a federal immigration judge. Brown County Sheriff's Department assisted ICE in planning and executing this operation.

Brown County Sheriff Dennis Kocken had this to say about the enforcement action: "I appreciate the collaborative effort between ICE and the Brown County Sheriff's Department. We anticipate future cooperative operations that will lead to the arrest and deportation of criminal illegal aliens."

Two of the immigration fugitive aliens arrested during this operation include:

  • Nilson Silmar Gomez, a 29-year-old El Salvadoran national whose criminal record includes arrests for possessing stolen property, DUI, forgery, disorderly conduct, and battery. Gomez illegally entered the United States in 1994. He was ordered deported by a federal immigration judge in 2006, but he failed to comply. He remains in ICE custody pending deportation.
  • Sheng Thao is a 35-year-old Laotian national with numerous criminal convictions in Dane County for burglary offenses, theft, battery, criminal trespass, and criminal damage to property. Thao entered the United States in 1978 as a U.S. permanent resident, but his criminal convictions made him eligible for deportation. He was ordered deported from the U.S. by a federal immigration judge in 1995, but he failed to comply. He remains in ICE custody pending deportation.

The aim of the ICE Fugitive Operations Teams is to reduce the number of fugitive aliens in the United States, which is currently estimated at 595,000 nationwide. These immigration fugitives are foreign nationals who have been ordered removed by a federal immigration judge, but failed to comply. Those targeted for arrest in these operations have ignored the lawful orders of immigration judges - in some cases for years - by refusing to leave the United States; many of them pose a continuing threat to public safety. ICE has 75 Fugitive Operations teams currently operational nationwide.