LUBBOCK, Texas — Fourteen convicted criminal aliens were arrested in Lubbock during a four-day initiative that ended Sunday which was conducted by local officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
This enforcement action, which began July 23, is the latest effort by ICE to prioritize the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens.
All 14 individuals arrested have been convicted of crimes in the United States and fall within ICE’s enforcement priorities. Overall, their convictions include: driving while intoxicated, sex assault against a child, cocaine possession and resisting police officer.
Of the 14 arrested, five fall into ICE’s Priority 1 category, which generally includes national security issues, felony or aggravated felony convictions. Nine of those arrested during this operation were Priority 2 arrests, generally including those with three or more misdemeanor convictions (not including traffic convictions), such as sexual abuse or sexual exploitation, burglary, possession or use of a firearm, and possessing illegal drugs.
All those arrested were men; 10 are from Mexico; three are from Guatemala, and one is from Honduras. They range in age from 19 to 57 years old. All those arrested will be held locally in ICE custody as they are processed for removal or await hearings before a federal immigration judge.
“All law enforcement officers face potentially life-threatening situations when performing their duties,” said Flores. “This is especially true of our ICE officers when they target convicted criminals who are in the country illegally. The timing, strategies, and methods they employ are all aimed at ensuring the safety of everyone present.”
In fiscal year 2014, ICE conducted 315,943 removals nationwide. Eighty-five percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense. Ninety-eight percent of all ICE FY 2014 removals, or 309,477, clearly met one or more of ICE’s stated civil immigration enforcement priorities. The Dallas area of responsibility removed 15,030 aliens in FY 2014; 12,731 had criminal convictions.