CHICAGO — Nearly 300 criminal aliens, fugitives and other immigration violators were arrested in six Midwestern states during a month-long operation conducted by officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Operation Cross Check, which began May 18 and concluded Saturday, is the latest effort by ICE to prioritize the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration violators. Arrests were made in the following six states: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Kansas and Missouri. The 287 men and 10 women arrested are from 29 countries.
Of the 297 individuals arrested, 233 were criminal aliens whose convictions include: domestic abuse, arson, aggravated assault, battery, burglary, solicitation of a child enticement, weapons possession, aggravated battery of a child, sexual assault of a minor and aggravated criminal sexual assault. Those arrested include 56 immigration fugitives who have outstanding deportation orders and 81 previously deported aliens, five of which face federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation.
ICE officers made 59 arrests in the Chicago area during the operation. The majority of those arrested, or 53, were convicted criminals. Eleven of the 59 were immigration fugitives and 24 were previously deported from the United States. The 55 men and four women are from the following countries: Mexico (50), Poland (3), former Yugoslavia (2) and one each from Honduras, Moldova, Ecuador and Venezuela.
Following are three case examples of individuals arrested in the Chicago area during the operation (in accordance with Department of Homeland Security privacy policies, names are not included):
- A 25-year-old Mexican national and registered sex offender with a conviction for battery of a minor. He was arrested June 3 in Aurora, Illinois and remains in ICE custody pending a hearing before an immigration judge.
- A 31-year-old Mexican national who is a convicted sex offender. He has convictions for drug possession and aggravated criminal sexual abuse of two minors under age 12. He was arrested June 6 in Aurora, Illinois and remains in ICE custody pending a hearing before an immigration judge.
- A 37-year-old Mexican national convicted in Cook County for predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. He was sentenced to six years in prison and deported to Mexico as an aggravated felon. He illegally re-entered the United States. ICE officers arrested him June 6 in Cicero, Illinois and he will remain in ICE custody pending deportation.
ICE received local assistance from the following agencies: U.S. Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Marshals Service, and Kane County Sheriff’s Office.
"The arrest and removal of criminal aliens has an immediate and tangible impact on our communities," said Ricardo Wong, field office director for ERO Chicago. "By focusing our resources on the most egregious offenders, we ensure the very best use of our resources while immediately improving public safety in our neighborhoods."
In fiscal year 2013, ICE conducted 368,644 removals nationwide. Eighty-two percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.
ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security. ICE also prioritizes the arrest and removal of those who game the immigration system including immigration fugitives or criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.