ORLANDO, Fla. – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers arrested 25 criminal aliens from Feb. 29 to March 4 during a targeted enforcement action targeting criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety. ERO officers made the arrests across central Florida.
All of those arrested by ICE during last week’s enforcement action met one of the agency’s top two enforcement priorities. All encountered had criminal records, some were felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as manslaughter, child abuse, robbery, false imprisonment, felony DUI, hit and run, armed burglary, racketeering, as well as weapons and drug violations.
One of those detained during the law enforcement action was previously removed from the U.S. and is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for felony re-entry after deportation.
- On Feb. 29, ERO officer arrested a Moroccan citizen with a robbery conviction.
- On Feb. 29, ERO officers arrested a citizen of Ecuador with a grand theft conviction.
Those arrested represented countries including: Ecuador, the United Kingdom, Morocco, Mexico, Turks & Caicos, El Salvador, Jamaica, Trinidad, Canada, England and Guyana.
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 November 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 2015, ICE removed or returned 235,413 individuals. Of this total, 165,935 were apprehended while, or shortly after, attempting to illegally enter the United States. The remaining 69,478 were apprehended in the interior of the United States, and the vast majority of these were convicted criminals who fell within ICE's civil immigration enforcement priorities.
Ninety-eight percent of ICE's fiscal 2015 removals and returns fell into one or more of ICE's civil immigration enforcement priorities, with 86 percent falling in Priority 1 and eight percent in Priority 2. In addition, ICE's interior enforcement activities led to an increase in the percentage of interior removals that were convicted criminals, growing from 82 percent in fiscal 2013 to 91 percent in 2015.