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Enforcement and Removal
09/03/2010

ICE repatriates 98 immigration violators to Asia on Seattle charter flight

Filipinos, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Malaysians, Indonesians and Japanese returned to their countries

SEATTLE - In a chartered flight that originated in Seattle on Aug. 31, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) returned 96 immigration violators to the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan and Cambodia; 66 of them had committed criminal offenses in the United States.

ICE's Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) coordinated the flight that returned 66 Filipinos, 18 Indonesians, 5 Cambodians, 4 Malaysians, 2 Japanese, and 1 Vietnamese nationals to their respective countries. The group included 79 males and 17 females. These individuals came into ICE custody from locations throughout the United States and were housed at various detention facilities across the country before being transported to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash., shortly before the flight.

Among the 66 who had been convicted of criminal offenses while living in the United States, their crimes included homicide, felony drug trafficking and possession, rape and other sex crimes, aggravated assault, weapons possession, grand theft, and burglary.

"This year, ICE expects to remove a record number of criminal aliens from the country and charter flights like this are a big part of making that happen," said ICE Director John Morton. "The United States welcomes law-abiding immigrants, but foreign nationals who violate our laws and commit crimes in our communities should be on notice that ICE is going to use all its resources to find you and send you home."

ICE officers and medical staff with the Division of Immigration Health Services accompanied aliens on the flight.

ICE routinely uses special air charters to transport aliens who have final orders of removal from an immigration judge. Staffed by ICE ERO officers, these air charters enable the agency to repatriate large groups of deportees in an efficient, expeditious, and humane manner.

During the first 11 months of fiscal year 2010, ICE has removed over 350,000 individuals from the United States, nearly half of whom had criminal convictions.

For more information, visit www.ice.gov.