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Enforcement and Removal
03/11/2014

ICE arrests 57 during 4-day operation targeting criminal aliens, immigration fugitives in West Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) ongoing efforts to focus agency resources on the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators, 57 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and other immigration violators were arrested during a four-day operation in West Michigan.

This operation concluded March 6 and was conducted by ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) teams from Grand Rapids and Detroit.

Of the 57 arrested, 54 individuals had prior convictions for crimes including some of the following violations: criminal sexual conduct against a minor, felony assault with a weapon, felony carrying a concealed weapon, larceny, and drug possession. The remaining three were priorities for arrest as egregious immigration violators.

Following is the nationality breakdown of the 53 men and 4 women arrested: Mexico (32), Guatemala (18), Cuba (1), Saudi Arabia (1), Sudan (1), Jamaica (1), Zambia (1), Bosnia (1), and Brazil (1).

Arrests were made in 16 West Michigan communities: Grand Rapids, Holland, Wyoming, Niles, Kentwood, Berrien Springs, West Olive, South Haven, Grand Junction, Covert, Shelby, Coldwater, Muskegon, Sturgis, Benton Harbor and Lansing.

Following are summaries of three individuals arrested during this operation:

  • A 63-year-old Cuban man has convictions for firearms offenses and burglary. He was arrested March 2 at a residence in Grand Rapids and will remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.
  • A 28-year-old Guatemalan man has prior convictions for criminal sexual conduct against a minor and failing to register as a sex offender. He was arrested March 2 at a residence in Grand Rapids, and will remain in ICE custody pending removal from the United States.
  • A 35-year-old Mexican man has a prior conviction for criminal sexual conduct and larceny. He was arrested March 2 at a residence in Grand Rapids, and will remain in ICE custody pending removal from the United States.

"The arrest and removal of criminal aliens from the community has a direct and tangible impact on public safety in communities in West Michigan," said Rebecca Adducci, field office director for ERO Detroit, which covers Michigan and Ohio. "Our continued focus on targeting criminal aliens and egregious immigration violators also ensures the very best use of limited agency resources."

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.