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Enforcement and Removal

ICE arrests 44 during 5-day operation targeting criminal aliens, immigration fugitives in Chicago area

CHICAGO – 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, 44 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and immigration violators were arrested this week during a five-day operation in the Chicago area.

This operation concluded Wednesday and was conducted by ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Fugitive Operations Teams in Chicago.

Of the 44 arrested, 33 had criminal convictions for crimes such as: cocaine possession, burglary, battery, assault, distributing marijuana, fraud, aggravated DUI and domestic violence. Eighteen of the 44 were immigration fugitives who had been previously ordered to leave the country but failed to depart; 14 of those are convicted criminals in addition to having outstanding deportation orders. Ten of the 44 – including five convicted criminals – had been previously deported and illegally re-entered the United States, which is a felony.

Following is the nationality breakdown of the 44 men who were arrested during this operation: Mexico (33), Poland (5), Guatemala (3), Philippines (1), Mongolia (1), Slovakia (1). Chicago had the most arrests (14); additional arrests were made in the following 23 northern Illinois cities: Aurora, Bensenville, Cicero, Des Plaines, Elgin, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Glenview, Highwood, Ingleside, Morton Grove, Mundelein, Naperville, North Chicago, Oswego, Park City, Park Ridge, Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Schaumburg, St. Charles, Wheeling and Winfield.

Following are summaries of two individuals arrested during this operation:

  • A 24-year-old Mexican national who was previously convicted of burglary and sentenced to three years in prison. He was arrested July 14. During the arrest, ERO officers discovered narcotics. He is currently facing state drug charges and is being held at the Cook County Jail with an immigration detainer.
  • A 43-year-old Polish national previously convicted of possessing ecstasy with the intent to deliver. He is wanted by Interpol for crimes regarding a fatal car crash in Poland. He was arrested July 17 and remains in ICE custody pending removal to Poland.

"The results of this targeted enforcement operation underscore ICE's ongoing commitment to public safety," said Ricardo Wong, field office director of ERO Chicago. "By arresting and removing convicted criminal aliens, we immediately improve the safety of our communities."

These arrests were coordinated with ICE's National Fugitive Operations Program, which is responsible for investigating, locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives – aliens who have ignored final orders of deportation handed down by federal immigration courts. ICE's Fugitive Operations Teams give top priority to cases involving aliens who pose a threat to national security and public safety, including members of transnational street gangs and child sex offenders.