NEWARK, NJ - U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today its four New Jersey area fugitive operations teams arrested a total of 76 fugitive aliens and immigration violators during a six-day operation which ended over the weekend.
Of the 76 arrests, 60 were fugitives and 16 were individuals ICE determined to be illegally present in the United States. Of the 60 fugitives, 24 had criminal records. Seven of the illegal aliens also had criminal histories. The aliens with criminal histories arrested during this operation have been convicted of assault, possession of a weapon, aggravated assault with a weapon and other crimes.
"ICE is committed to protecting the integrity of our immigration system, and that means ensuring that the removal orders handed down by the nation's immigration courts are carried out," said Scott Weber, field officer director for ICE detention and removal operations in Newark. "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 of its resources to find you and send you home."
An immigration fugitive is an alien who has failed to depart the United States after receiving a final order of removal from an independent immigration judge, or who has failed to report to a Detention and Removal Officer after receiving notice to do so. People who have illegally re-entered the U.S. after deportation are subject to criminal prosecution or immediate removal from the U.S. Other immigration violators arrested during fugitive operations are charged with being illegal present in the country, placed in removal proceedings and will receive due process in immigration court.
Following are examples of fugitive aliens arrested by the New Jersey Fugitive Operations Teams during this operation:
- A Cuban male convicted of a felony for Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance on School Property.A Honduran female arrested for Aggravated Assault and Simple Assault.
- A South Korean female arrested for Promoting Prostitution.
- A Brazilian male who had been arrested on multiple counts for Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose and Aggravated Assault with a Weapon.
The Fugitive Operations Program was established in 2003 to eliminate the nation's backlog of immigration fugitives. Today, ICE has 95 teams in place across the country. As a result of the efforts of the Fugitive Operations Teams, the nation's fugitive alien population continues to decline. Estimates now place the number of immigration fugitives in the United States at slightly under 560,000, a decrease of more than 34,000 since October 2007.
ICE's Fugitive Operations Program is an integral part of the comprehensive multi-year plan launched by the Department of Homeland Security to secure America's borders and reduce illegal migration. That strategy seeks to gain operational control of both the northern and southern borders, while re-engineering the detention and removal system to ensure that illegal aliens are removed from the country quickly and efficiently.