CHICAGO – As part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) ongoing commitment to prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators, 31 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and immigration violators were arrested during a two-day operation in the greater Chicago area.
This operation concluded Sunday and was conducted by ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations teams in Chicago.
Of the 31 arrested, 22 had prior convictions for crimes such as: battery, aggravated drunken driving, drug possession, child molestation, sexual misconduct and theft. Fifteen are immigration fugitives who had been previously ordered to leave the country but failed to depart; four others had been previously deported and illegally re-entered the United States, which is a felony.
Following is the nationality breakdown of the 30 men and one woman arrested: Mexico (19), Honduras (5), Poland (3), Belize (1), El Salvador (1), Guatemala (1) and Laos (1). Arrests were made in the following 15 Chicago-area communities: Addison, Aurora, Berwyn, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Chicago, Chicago Ridge, Elgin, Gurnee, Melrose Park, Montgomery, River Grove, Wauconda, Waukegan and Wheaton. Two arrests were also made in the northwest Indiana communities of Crown Point and Schererville.
Following are summaries of three individuals arrested during this operation:
- A 46-year-old Laotian man has a prior criminal conviction for lewd or lascivious acts with a minor. He is also an immigration fugitive with an outstanding deportation order. He was arrested Dec. 8 in Chicago and remains in ICE custody pending his deportation.
- A 44-year-old Honduran man has prior criminal convictions for molesting a minor. He was previously deported in 1990 and illegally re-entered the United States. He was arrested Dec. 8 at his residence in Schererville, Ind., and remains in ICE custody pending his deportation.
- A 29-year-old Belizean man has criminal convictions for possessing drugs and illegally re-entering the United States after having been deported. He was previously deported three times: in 2004, 2005 and 2006. He was arrested Dec. 8 at his residence in Chicago Ridge and remains in ICE custody pending his deportation. He may face federal prosecution for illegally re-entering the United States after being deported.
"ERO works tirelessly to identify and remove convicted criminal aliens and egregious immigration violators who show a blatant disregard for our immigration laws," said Ricardo Wong, field office director for ERO Chicago. "By doing so, we significantly improve public safety in our communities while making the best use of our resources."
This enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE's National Fugitive Operations Program, which is responsible for investigating, locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives.
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.