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Enforcement and Removal
10/16/2020

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ICE arrests 25 during week-long statewide sanctuary enforcement operation in Colorado

DENVER — Today U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the conclusion to a week-long targeted enforcement operation that resulted in the apprehension of 25 at-large aliens in Colorado where sanctuary policies have largely prohibited the cooperation of law enforcement agencies in the arrest of criminal aliens.

ICE’s enforcement operation, which took place Oct. 5 – 9, targeted aliens subject to removal who were arrested for crimes but were released by state or local law enforcement agencies, despite having active immigration detainers in place.

“Local officials continue to let politics get in the way of public safety endangering the very people they say they are protecting,” said John Fabbricatore, field office director, Denver. “We’ve repeatedly sent our teams into the field to arrest criminals who should have rightfully been handed to us in the safe confines of a jail. Many of these individuals have assault charges and are dangerous to us and the community-at-large.”

Colorado law prohibits local and state agencies from cooperating with ICE, even in instances where illegal aliens have committed crimes.

During these recent enforcement actions, ICE officers identified, targeted and arrested many criminal aliens who were previously released from local and state law enforcement custody despite having lawful immigration detainers lodged with local law enforcement officials.

The declined detainers of aliens with criminal histories that include homicide, sexual assault, sex crimes involving children, assault, robbery, domestic violence and DUI.

Arrests made during this enforcement action included:

  • Ruben Manzo-Palma, 38, is a citizen of Mexico charged with strangulation and causing reckless injury, crimes he committed prior to being released from the Boulder County Jail May 26. He was granted two voluntary returns to Mexico in 2009.
  • Elmer Moreira-Esparza, 34, a citizen of Mexico was arrested for domestic violence in 2016 and 2018 and most recently for criminal impersonation. The El Paso County jail did not honor an ICE detainer and released him from custody Aug. 1, 2019. He was previously removed to Mexico April 26, and May 14, 2014 and granted seven voluntary returns to Mexico between 2002 and 2014.
  • Jose Silva-Jimenez, 29, is citizen of Mexico residing in Longmont, Colorado who was arrested by ICE Oct. 9. Silva was convicted of illegal reentry in 2018 and extradited to Boulder County to face additional charges. Boulder County released Silva on three separate occasions between 2018 and 2020; he was convicted Oct. 2, of felony menacing with a weapon, child abuse, and a violation of bail bond conditions and sentenced him two years of probation.

“How many victims will it take before common sense prevails and these criminals are handed to ICE so they can be returned to their home country,” said Fabbricatore. “We’ve already seen a city council member needlessly attacked by a criminal released by local police. Sadly, the violence will only continue so long as this misguided policy remains in place.”

Nationally, approximately 86% of ERO’s administrative arrests in FY2019, consisted of aliens with criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.

The total number of individuals arrested in the Denver area of responsibility which encompasses both Wyoming and Colorado is 34.

In FY 2019, ICE arrested individuals nationally with more than 1,900 convictions and charges for homicide, 1,800 for kidnapping, 12,000 sex offenses, 5,000 sexual assaults, 45,000 assaults, 67,000 crimes involving drugs, 10,000 weapons offenses, and 74,000 DUIs. ICE continues to target criminal aliens and other public safety and national security threats every day.

ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All those in violation of immigration law may be subject to arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States. ICE takes many factors into account when targeting and arresting individuals, including their criminal and immigration history.

Sanctuary policies restrict most forms of cooperation with federal immigration authorities and vastly impede ICE’s ability to work with partner agencies, according to ICE officials, requiring ICE to arrest at-large criminal aliens in the communities, instead of a secure, jail environment.

ICE maintains that cooperation with local law enforcement is essential to protecting public safety, and the agency aims to work cooperatively with local jurisdictions to ensure that criminal aliens are not released into U.S. communities to commit additional crimes.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/16/2020