During the operation, which concluded December 19, 2008, ICE officers arrested 73 immigration fugitives who ignored lawful orders of removal and seven other immigration violators. Of the 73 fugitives arrested, 25 had criminal histories that included assault, burglary, cocaine possession, criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal trespass, conspiracy to distribute marijuana, criminal possession of a weapon, DUI, fraud, larceny, and marijuana possession.
ICE will continue to investigate, arrest, and deport aliens who egregiously ignore an immigration judge's order to leave the country," said John Tsoukaris, acting field office director for the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) in New York City. "While we welcome people from all over the world into the U.S, we expect those wanting to make a life here to follow the immigration process and obey the laws of their communities. Our fugitive operation teams will continue their enforcement actions to ensure removal orders are carried out and locate those immigration violators who pose a threat to public safety."
Two examples of criminal aliens arrested during this targeted enforcement action are:
- On December 18, 2008, New York Fugitive Operations Team Officers arrested an aggravated felon from the Dominican Republic. The individual was arrested at the Brooklyn Criminal Court, in Brooklyn, New York. The individual initially entered the United States as a lawful permanent resident in 1987 and in 1991 was convicted of criminal possession of a controlled substance, and sentenced to one year in prison. In 1994, the individual was again convicted of criminal possession of a controlled substance, and sentenced to one year in prison, and in 2006 was charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument. The individual was ordered deported by an Immigration Judge in New York City in 1996. He is currently in ICE custody pending removal to the Dominican Republic.
- On December 18, 2008, the New York Fugitive Operations Team Officers arrested a Haitian national at his residence in Yonkers, New York. The individual entered the U.S. illegally, was placed into deportation proceedings, and in 1994 was ordered deported by an Immigration Judge in Miami, Florida. On March 1, 2005, the individual was convicted of Assault in Yonkers, New York. The individual is currently in ICE custody pending removal.
Those arrested during the operation come from countries around the globe including Albania, Algeria, Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iran, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Macedonia, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Trinidad, Ukraine, Yemen, Yugoslavia
ICE established its National Fugitive Operations Program (NFOP) in 2003 to eliminate the nation's backlog of immigration fugitives and ensure that deportation orders handed down by immigration judges are enforced. Today, ICE has 100 Fugitive Operations Teams deployed across the country.
ICE's Fugitive Operations Program is an integral part of the comprehensive multi-year plan launched by the Department of Homeland Security to secure America's borders and reduce illegal migration. That strategy seeks to gain operational control of both the northern and southern borders, while re-engineering the detention and removal system to ensure that illegal aliens are removed from the country quickly and efficiently.