PHILADELPHIA — Four dozen criminal aliens living in Pennsylvania and Delaware were arrested during a five-day enforcement operation. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Philadelphia took the 48 aliens into custody who are all a priority for removal from the United States.
Dozens of ERO officers participated in the operation from May 17 to 21 that focused on the arrests of public safety threats. Those arrested are from all over the world and have a wide-array of criminal convictions – many have committed multiple offenses.
Of the total 48 criminals arrested, one was a gang member, 10 were aggravated felons, and six were sex offenders. The vast majority of misdemeanor convictions were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. ICE considers DUI offenders, particularly repeat offenders, to be a significant public safety threat.
- A Cambodian man who was convicted for assault with a deadly weapon and corruption of minors. After serving a year in jail, ICE officers arrested him near his residence.
- A Nigerian man who was convicted of sexually abusing a minor.
- A Guatemalan man who was previously deported and was convicted of carrying a weapon and forgery.
All targets of this operation met the top two priorities as established in the Department of Homeland Security’s Nov. 20, 2014 memorandum entitled “Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants.” Priority 1 targets include threats to national security, criminal street gang members, convicted felons, and aggravated felons. Priority 2 targets have convictions for three or more misdemeanors or convictions for significant misdemeanors, including DUIs.
The foreign nationals detained during the operation, who are not being criminally prosecuted, will be processed administratively for removal from the United States. Those who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.
ICE prioritizes the use of enforcement personnel, detention space, and removal assets to support the civil immigration enforcement priorities. By taking criminals who pose public safety threats off community streets and removing them from the country, ICE addresses a significant security and public safety vulnerability.
This enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE’s National Fugitive Operations Program, which locates, arrests and removes at-large criminals. The officers who conducted this operation received substantial assistance from ICE’s Fugitive Operations Support Center and ICE’s Law Enforcement Support Center, both located in Williston, Vermont.
In fiscal 2014, ERO removed 315,943 individuals from the United States. In addition to convicted criminals, the agency’s enforcement priorities include those apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal re-entrants – individuals who returned to the United States after being previously removed by ICE – and immigration fugitives. In fiscal 2014, 98 percent of ICE removals met these priorities.