PHILADELPHIA – Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 101 individuals during an operation that concluded Aug. 26, targeting criminal aliens and other agency enforcement priorities primarily in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
During the 12-day enforcement action, ERO officers apprehended 64 aliens with criminal convictions. The remaining 37 fall under the agency’s enforcement priorities as recent immigration violators or important federal interest cases. Those arrested had criminal histories with past convictions for drug trafficking, DUI, weapons violations, child sex offenses, identity theft, and other serious criminal offenses. Two of those taken into custody now face federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Among those arrested were:
- A 46-year-old Liberian man with a felony conviction for statutory sexual assault on a minor. He was arrested in Philadelphia, Aug. 15 and will remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.
- A 57-year-old Jamaican man with a felony conviction for aggravated assault. He was arrested Aug. 15 in Morrisville, Pennsylvania, and will remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.
- A 29-year-old Sierra Leonean man with prior convictions for DUI, drug possession and corruption of minors. He was arrested in Hamilton, New Jersey, Aug. 19 and will remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.
- A 22-year-old Mexican man with a prior conviction for carrying a deadly weapon. He was arrested in Huntington, West Virginia, Aug. 26 and will remain in ICE custody pending his removal from the United States.
The foreign nationals arrested during the operation include citizens of 24 countries, including Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Poland, Brazil, Italy, Morocco, Liberia, Guinea, Kenya, Honduras, Jamaica, Georgia, Bahamas, Columbia, Peru, Haiti, Sierra Leone, Korea, Ecuador, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq and India. Those who are not being criminally prosecuted will be processed administratively for removal from the United States. The arrestees 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.
All of those apprehended during last week’s operation were immigration enforcement priorities as outlined in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson’s 2014 memorandum. Priority 1 targets include threats to national security, criminal street gang members, convicted felons, and aggravated felons. Priority 2 targets include individuals with convictions for three or more misdemeanors, or convictions for significant misdemeanors, including DUIs.