WICHITA, Kan. – As part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) ongoing commitment to prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators, 16 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and immigration violators were arrested during a three-day operation in the Wichita area.
This operation concluded Thursday and was conducted by ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations teams in Wichita.
Of the 16 arrested, 11 had prior convictions for crimes such as: aggravated assault, aggravated battery, identity theft, domestic battery, drunken driving and making criminal threats. Three of the 16 were immigration fugitives who had been previously ordered to leave the country but failed to depart. Two of those arrested had been previously removed from the country and illegally re-entered the United States, which is a felony.
Following is the nationality breakdown of the 16 men arrested: Mexico (14), Guatemala (1) and El Salvador (1). The arrests occurred in Wichita and surrounding communities, including Liberal and Dodge City.
Following is a summary of one individual arrested during this operation:
- A 25-year-old Mexican national has a prior criminal conviction for aggravated battery. He was arrested Nov. 8 at the Community Corrections Office in Liberal, Kan., and remains in ICE custody pending removal to Mexico.
"ERO officers will continue to work tirelessly to improve public safety in the Wichita area by locating, apprehending and removing at-large criminal aliens and repeat immigration violators who have blatantly disregarded the immigration laws," said Ricardo Wong, field office director for ERO Chicago. "With targeted enforcement operations, we are focusing our resources on the most egregious offenders while improving public safety for law-abiding residents in our communities."
This enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE's National Fugitive Operations Program (NFOP), which is responsible for investigating, locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives.
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. ICE also prioritizes the arrest and removal of those who game the immigration system including immigration fugitives or criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.