Last month in Dallas, Texas, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested a man from El Salvador who had a criminal conviction for aggravated sexual assault on a 6-year-old child.
The 57-year-old citizen and native of El Salvador arrested by ERO's special operations team in Dallas is just one example of the more than 4,400 convicted criminals arrested in June and July across the United States, and one of more than 1,900 considered a Level 1 offender - top priority for the federal ICE officers who enforce immigration law. Level 1 offenders have been criminally convicted of major violent offenses, including murder, rape and the sexual abuse of children.
Other examples of individuals arrested in June and July throughout the country include:
- A citizen of the United Kingdom arrested in Kansas City, Mo., convicted of a lewd and lascivious act with a child under 14 and sentenced to six years' confinement;
- A citizen of Jamaica arrested in Miami, convicted for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, burglary and carrying a concealed firearm;
- A citizen of Honduras arrested in New York, convicted of sexual abuse of a child;
- A citizen of Mexico arrested in Phoenix, Ariz., convicted of burglary, assault on a federal officer with a deadly weapon, escape from federal custody and possession of marijuana;
- A citizen of Mexico arrested in Salt Lake City, Utah, convicted for rape of a child and sentenced to a term of no less than six years in Utah State Prison;
- A citizen of Laos arrested in St. Paul, Minn., convicted of manslaughter and criminal sexual conduct on an 11-year-old; and
- A citizen of Guatemala arrested in Ashburn, Va., convicted of sexual battery.
"Our officers are out every day looking for the worst of the worst at-large criminal aliens who are hiding within our communities, potentially committing more crimes," said Gary Mead, ICE's Executive Associate Director for ERO. "The more successful we can be at using our immigration authorities to remove individuals like this from our country, the safer our communities will be."
ICE's enforcement priorities dictate that the agency's resources are focused on the identification and removal of convicted criminals and public safety threats, recent illegal border crossers, repeat immigration violators and immigration fugitives. This strategy is intended to ensure that immigration laws are enforced in a way that best enhances public safety, border security and the integrity of the legal immigration system.
Last fiscal year, ICE removed 396,906 individuals of which nearly 217,000 were convicted criminals. Overall, more than 90 percent of the total removals fell into one of ICE's enforcement priorities.
ERO's national fugitive operations program maintains a public list of the top 10 most wanted ERO fugitives. ICE encourages the public to report any tips that could lead to the capture of these individuals by calling the national hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.