NEW YORK, NY - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers arrested 96 fugitives and immigration violators in New York and Long Island during a targeted enforcement, which began on October 14th and concluded October 26th.
Of the 96 aliens arrested, 90 were fugitive targets of the operation and 46 of them had criminal histories. Six other immigration violators were also arrested during the operation, all with criminal histories. All six were charged with being illegally in the United States and will have hearings before an independent immigration judge from the Department of Justice.
Their crimes include: Burglary, Bail Jumping, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance, Criminal Possession of a Weapon, DUI, DWI, Resisting Arrest, Robbery, Trademark Counterfeiting. Following are four examples of the criminals ICE arrested during this operation:
- A woman from Dominica, was arrested by ICE officers on October 15, 2008, in Brooklyn, N.Y. She has an outstanding order of deportation. She served time in prison for possession with the intent to distribute Marijuana. She is currently in ICE custody, pending her removal to Dominica
- A man from Bangladesh, was arrested by ICE officers on October 15, 2008 in the Bronx, N.Y. He overstayed his visitor visa and has several drug related convictions. An immigration judge has ordered the man removed from the United States. He is currently in ICE custody, pending removal to Bangladesh.
- A man from Ecuador, was arrested by ICE officers on Oct. 16 in Queens, N.Y. He has an outstanding order of deportation. He served time in prison for petit larceny, criminal mischief and for possession and attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance. He is currently in ICE custody, pending removal to Ecuador.
- A man from Jamaica was arrested by ICE officers on October 20, in New York City, he is an aggravated felon who served 9 months in jail for felony transportation of Marijuana. In November 2006, he was convicted for criminal sale of Marijuana. Just as recently as October 20th, New York City Police Department arrested and charged him with criminal sale of Marijuana. He is currently in ICE custody, pending his removal to Jamaica.
"The people arrested are illegal aliens who fail to appear for their immigration hearings, or they defy an order to leave the country by a federal immigration judge," said Bartholomew Rodriguez, acting field office director for the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations in New York. "They showed a blatant disregard for the immigration laws of the United States and ICE Fugitive Operation teams will continue to locate those immigration violators who potentially pose a threat to the public."
During the same time period fugitive teams in, New Jersey and Pennsylvania also conducted major operations. In New Jersey, a total of 189 fugitives were arrested, including 87 with criminal histories. Officers also arrested 102 immigration violators. In Philadelphia, ICE officers apprehended 99 illegal fugitives were arrested, including 41 with criminal histories. 58 immigration violators were also arrested.
ICE established its National Fugitive Operations Program (NFOP) in 2003 to eliminate the nation's backlog of immigration fugitives and ensure that deportation orders handed down by immigration judges are enforced. Today, ICE has 100 Fugitive Operations Teams deployed across the country.
ICE's Fugitive Operations Program is an integral part of the comprehensive multi-year plan launched by the Department of Homeland Security to secure America's borders and reduce illegal migration. That strategy seeks to gain operational control of both the northern and southern borders, while re-engineering the detention and removal system to ensure that illegal aliens are removed from the country quickly and efficiently.