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May 9, 2023Washington, DC, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE arrests 14 known or suspected human rights violators during national operation

WASHINGTON - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took targeted enforcement action against removable noncitizens, including those with a final order of removal, who present a danger to communities and have known or suspected roles in human rights violations during a nationwide operation, April 24-28. ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) National Fugitive Operations Program, in coordination with ICE’s Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) and National Criminal Analysis and Targeting Center, worked to identify, locate, and apprehend 14 individuals.

“ICE is committed to preventing the United States from becoming a refuge for those who attempt to evade prosecution and punishment for human rights violations committed against others,” said the ICE Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of Director Tae D. Johnson. “These targeted arrests highlight the invaluable work and diligent efforts of our workforce to hold human rights violators accountable for their actions. I commend the collaborative work between members of ERO, OPLA, and the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center that resulted in these apprehensions.”

All foreign nationals arrested during this operation are subject to repatriation to their home countries. Those arrested included 10 known or suspected human rights violators from Central and South America, including individuals implicated in the torture and killing of civilians during military service and the enforced disappearances of individuals. Additionally, the operation resulted in the apprehension of four known or suspected human rights violators from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East connected to a range of atrocities, including the execution of political prisoners, murder, rape and mutilation, and massacres.

Additionally, among the total apprehended, four have convictions in the United States for crimes including, but not limited to, possession of altered U.S. currency to defraud; financial transaction card fraud; inflicting corporal injury on spouse/cohabitant; burglary; receiving stolen property; and driving under the influence.

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.

The Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) is the only government entity focused completely on investigating global atrocities and the perpetrators of human rights violations and war crimes. Initiated in 2008, the HRVWCC leverages the knowledge and expertise of a select group of special agents, attorneys, intelligence analysts, criminal research specialists and historians who are charged with preventing the United States from becoming a safe haven for individuals who engage in the commission of war crimes, genocide, torture and other forms of serious human rights abuses from conflicts around the globe. Currently, the HRVWCC has more than 160 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,700 leads and removal cases involving suspected human rights violators from 95 different countries. Since 2003, the HRVWCC has issued more than 78,000 lookouts and stopped over 350 human rights violators and war crimes suspects from entering the U.S.

Members of the public with information about foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to contact ICE by calling the toll-free tip line at 866-347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also email or complete the online tip form.

Learn more about ICE’s mission to increase public safety in your community on Twitter @ICEgov.