SAN JOSE, Calif. – A Mexican national with a prior conviction for kidnapping is among the 63 criminal aliens taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers during a four-day operation in the San Jose area last week.
Of the 63 individuals arrested during the enforcement action, 55 have prior criminal convictions. The remaining eight have been charged with crimes, but their cases are still pending. The offenses range from selling heroin and amphetamines to child molestation and spousal abuse. The largest number of convictions, a total of 18, involve driving under the influence.
"Enhancing public safety is at the core of ICE's mission," said Timothy Aitken, field office director for ICE ERO in northern California. "This operation underscores ICE's ongoing commitment to focus on the arrest and removal of criminal aliens and others who pose a potential danger to the community."
Those arrested during last week's operation include:
- A Mexican national convicted earlier this year of felony possession of heroin for sale who was sentenced to six months in prison;
- A 49-year-old male Mexican national convicted in 2011 of child molestation;
- A 29-year-old male Mexican national with prior convictions for kidnapping and cocaine possession; and
- A 48-year-old woman from Mexico with 13 aliases who has prior felony convictions for forgery and misuse of an entry document. Having been removed from the United States five times, she now faces federal prosecution for felony re-entry after deportation. The defendant made her initial appearance in federal court Dec. 16.
With the exception of that last case, the aliens arrested during the operation are being processed administratively for removal from the country. 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 will be scheduled for a hearing before an immigration judge.
This week's arrests were carried out by ICE ERO officers assigned to ICE's Fugitive Operations Program, which is responsible for locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives – aliens who have ignored final orders of deportation handed down by the nation's immigration courts.
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 those criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.