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November 16, 2023Chicago, IL, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ERO Chicago arrests 44 criminal noncitizens during local enforcement action

Offenses include sexual assault, drug distribution, aggravated assault and driving under the influence

CHICAGO — On Nov. 16, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Chicago Field Office Director LaDeon Francis announced the results of a local enforcement operation conducted between Oct. 23 – Nov. 3 during which officers apprehended 44 removable noncitizens determined to be a threat to national security, public safety or border security.

This targeted enforcement operation was implemented to address unlawfully present noncitizens with felonies or misdemeanors for domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, unlawful possession or use of a firearm, drug distribution or trafficking, or driving under the influence, and noncitizens with an executable final order of removal who have unlawfully reentered the United States after having been previously removed. Each noncitizen arrested during the enforcement operation had immigration detainers placed on them that were not honored within Illinois. The noncitizens were released to the public without notifying ERO.

“The noncitizens apprehended during this operation have shown a complete disregard for the laws in the United States,” said ERO Chicago Field Office Director LaDeon Francis. “I applaud the efforts of our officers who conducted this enforcement operation and continue to keep our communities safe from these criminals who pose a serious threat to public safety.”

Officers prioritized enforcement actions in accordance with the Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law issued by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sept. 30, 2021, and reinstituted on June 28, 2023. These individuals were detained in ICE custody pending removal proceedings or removal from the U.S.

Those arrested include:

  • A 42-year-old Mexican national in Rockford, Illinois who was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim less than 13 years of age.
  • A 34-year-old Mexican national arrested in Chicago, Illinois who was convicted of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.
  • A 52-year-old previously removed Mexican national arrested in Aurora, Illinois who was convicted of manufacturing and delivery of cocaine, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and mob action.
  • A 27-year-old Mexican national arrested in Chicago, Illinois who was identified as a member of the Surenos 13 (Sur-13) street gang and was convicted of aggravated battery and domestic violence.
  • A 45-year-old previously removed Mexican national arrested in Chicago, Illinois who was convicted twice of felony manslaughter and aggravated assault. During the arrest, officers seized approximately 12.20 grams of suspected fentanyl.

ERO officers carefully evaluated individuals on a case-by-case basis, assessing the totality of the facts and circumstances to make informed arrest determinations. Those cases amenable to federal criminal prosecution may be presented to the U.S. attorney’s office. ERO will also appropriately coordinate with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to evaluate the completion of relevant noncitizen application(s). 

As part of its mission to identify and arrest removable noncitizens, ERO lodges immigration detainers against noncitizens who have been arrested for criminal activity and taken into custody by state or local law enforcement. An immigration detainer is a request from ICE to state or local law enforcement agencies to notify ICE as early as possible before a removable noncitizen is released from their custody. Detainers request that state or local law enforcement agencies maintain custody of the noncitizen for a period not to exceed 48 hours beyond the time the individual would otherwise be released, allowing ERO to assume custody for removal purposes in accordance with federal law.

Detainers are a critical public safety tool because they focus enforcement resources on removable noncitizens who have been arrested for criminal activity. Detainers increase the safety of all parties involved – ERO personnel, law enforcement officials, the removable noncitizens and the public – by allowing an arrest to be made in a secure and controlled custodial setting as opposed to at-large within the community. Since detainers result in the direct transfer of a noncitizen from state or local custody to ERO custody, they also minimize the potential that an individual will reoffend. Additionally, detainers conserve scarce government resources by allowing ERO to take criminal noncitizens into custody directly rather than expending resources locating these individuals at-large.

Noncitizens placed into removal proceedings receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice and is separate from the Department of Homeland Security and ICE. Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case. ICE officers carry out the removal decisions made by the federal immigration judges.

In fiscal year 2022, ERO arrested 46,396 noncitizens with criminal histories. This group had 198,498 associated charges and convictions, including 21,531 assault offenses; 8,164 sex and sexual assault offenses; 5,554 weapons offenses; 1,501 homicide-related offenses; and 1,114 kidnapping offenses.

As one of ICE’s three operational directorates, ERO is the principal federal law enforcement authority in charge of domestic immigration enforcement. ERO’s mission is to protect the homeland through the arrest and removal of those who undermine the safety of U.S. communities and the integrity of U.S. immigration laws, and its primary areas of focus are interior enforcement operations, management of the agency’s detained and non-detained populations, and repatriation of noncitizens who have received final orders of removal. ERO’s workforce consists of more than 7,700 law enforcement and non-law enforcement support personnel across 25 domestic field offices and 208 locations nationwide, 30 overseas postings, and multiple temporary duty travel assignments along the border.

Members of the public can report crime and suspicious activity by calling 866-347-2423 or completing the online tip form.

Learn more about ERO Chicago’s mission to preserve public safety on X, formerly known as Twitter, @EROChicago.