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Enforcement and Removal
06/07/2012

ICE arrests 44 during 5-day operation targeting criminal aliens, immigration fugitives in Chicago area

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, 44 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and immigration violators were arrested during a five-day operation in the greater Chicago area.

This operation concluded Wednesday and was conducted by ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations teams in Chicago.

Of the 44 arrested, 34 had prior convictions for crimes such as; weapons possession, domestic battery, aggravated drunken driving, arson, drugs and burglary. Twenty-three of the 44 were immigration fugitives who had been previously ordered to leave the country but failed to depart; the majority of these also had criminal convictions. Eleven of those arrested had been previously removed from the country and illegally re-entered the United States, which is a felony.

Following is the nationality breakdown of the 42 men and two women arrested: Mexico (33), Guatemala (3), Poland (2), El Salvador (2), Honduras (2), Italy (1) and the Philippines (1). The arrests occurred in Chicago and the western suburbs, including West Chicago, Cicero, Aurora, Elgin, Joliet, Downers Grove and Carpentersville.

Following are summaries of three individuals arrested during this operation:

  • A 42-year-old Polish national is wanted on an Interpol warrant in Poland for arson to a business with threat to life and limb. He was arrested June 5 at his Chicago residence and remains in ICE custody pending flight arrangements to Poland, where he will be turned over to authorities.
  • A 36-year-old Mexican national has prior criminal convictions for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, felony domestic battery and violating an order of protection. He was arrested June 5 at his residence in Aurora. He was placed in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.
  • A 38-year-old Mexican national and self-admitted member of the 18th Street gang has prior convictions for possessing cocaine and marijuana and soliciting a sex act. He was arrested by ERO officers June 2 at his Aurora residence. He was placed in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.

"ERO is committed to making our communities safer by arresting and removing convicted criminal aliens and immigration fugitives," said Ricardo Wong, field office director for ERO Chicago. "By targeting our efforts on these egregious offenders, we are improving public safety 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.