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Enforcement and Removal
03/16/2016

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ICE arrests 15 in Northern Illinois area during operation targeting criminal aliens

ROCKFORD, Ill. — Fifteen convicted criminal aliens were arrested this week in Northern Illinois during a two-day operation conducted by officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).   

This enforcement operation, which concluded Monday, is the latest effort by ICE to prioritize the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens living illegally in the United States.

All 15 arrested have been convicted of crimes in the United States and fall within ICE’s enforcement priorities for deportation.  They have been convicted of the following crimes: aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor, aggravated unlawful use of a firearm, aggravated drunk driving, aggravated battery/great bodily harm, lewd and lascivious behavior in public, and drug possession.

Following are criminal summaries of three aliens arrested during this operation:

  • A 24-year-old Mexican national with prior convictions for felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and illegally selling firearms. He was arrested March 14 in Rockford and remains in ICE custody pending a hearing before a federal immigration judge.
  • A 22-year-old Mexican national with prior felony convictions for aggravated battery/great bodily harm and drunken driving. He was arrested March 13 in Rockford and remains in ICE custody pending a hearing before a federal immigration judge.
  • A 32-year-old Mexican national with prior felony convictions for aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor and mob action/force. He was arrested March 14 in Rockford and remains in ICE custody pending removal.
"ICE’s targeted immigration-enforcement operations prioritize arresting convicted criminals and public-safety threats," said Ricardo Wong, field office director for ERO Chicago. "By focusing our resources on these most egregious offenders, we immediately improve public safety in our communities.”

Fourteen of the 15 men arrested are Mexican nationals; one is from Uruguay. Thirteen arrests were made in Rockford; one arrest each was made in Love’s Park and Belvidere, Illinois.

During this operation, ERO received significant assistance from the Winnebago County (Illinois) Sheriff’s Office.

“The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office will work with every agency to aid in good law enforcement and collaboration to make our Winnebago County/Rockford region safe to work and live,” said Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana.

All of the targets in this operation met the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) two top immigration enforcement priorities as established in 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 convictions for three or more misdemeanors or convictions for significant misdemeanors, including DUIs.

Secretary Johnson has directed ICE to prioritize the use of enforcement personnel, detention space, and removal assets to support the Department's civil immigration enforcement priorities. ICE continues to work with local law enforcement partners to uphold public safety, while taking dangerous criminals out of our communities.

In fiscal year 2015, ICE conducted 235,413 removals nationwide. Ninety-one percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.

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. 

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/16/2016