DALLAS — Twenty-seven convicted criminal aliens were arrested in North Texas during a four-day initiative that ended Sunday which was conducted by local officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
This enforcement action, which began July 23, is the latest effort by ICE to prioritize the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens. Twenty-six arrests were made in Corsicana; one arrest was made in Dallas.
All 27 individuals arrested have been convicted of crimes in the United States and fall within ICE’s enforcement priorities. Overall, their convictions include: driving while intoxicated, assault with bodily injury on a family member, purchasing/furnishing alcohol to a minor, engaging in organized criminal activity, alien smuggling and theft.
Of the 27 arrested, two fall into ICE’s Priority 1 category, which generally includes national security issues, felony or aggravated felony convictions. Twenty four of those arrested during this operation were Priority 2 arrests, generally including those with three or more misdemeanor convictions (not including traffic convictions), such as sexual abuse or sexual exploitation, burglary, possession or use of a firearm, and possessing illegal drugs.
ICE officers arrested 25 men and two women; one woman was released on her own recognizance shortly after her arrest when it was discovered she was a sole care-giver to a small child. All those arrested were from Mexico. All those arrested will be held locally in ICE custody as they are processed for removal or await hearings before a federal immigration judge.
“During this operation, there were a number of unfounded rumors spread via social media,” said Flores. “I want to emphasize that all participating ICE officers acted professionally and compassionately, while also effectively performing their duties. Our community outreach officer also worked closely with families that were impacted by these arrests.”
“All law enforcement officers face potentially life-threatening situations when performing their duties,” said Flores. “This is especially true of our ICE officers when they target convicted criminals who are in the country illegally. The timing, strategies, and methods they employ are all aimed at ensuring the safety of everyone present.”
In fiscal year 2014, ICE conducted 315,943 removals nationwide. Eighty-five percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense. Ninety-eight percent of all ICE FY 2014 removals, or 309,477, clearly met one or more of ICE’s stated civil immigration enforcement priorities. The Dallas area of responsibility removed 15,030 aliens in FY 2014; 12,731 had criminal convictions.