NEW YORK – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Tuesday the completion of a nationwide, immigration enforcement operation that netted more than 2,000 immigration-related arrests.
ICE Senior Official Performing the Duties of the ICE Director Tony H. Pham explained that Enforcement and Removal Operations officers targeted removable aliens who had previous arrests, convictions, or charges pending for crimes involving victims.
In New York, ICE ERO officers arrested 83 individuals from 25 countries, including Albania, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, India, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Russia, Trinidad, and Uzbekistan.
More than 50 individuals arrested during the operation in New York were released from local law enforcement custody with active detainers; 18 of the individuals arrested had been previously removed or deported from the U.S., and three of the individuals arrested were foreign fugitives.
The criminal histories of individuals arrested included an assortment of charges, including child abuse, harassment, sexual and aggravated assault, trespassing, weapons violations, robbery, drug charges, and driving while intoxicated.
Nearly 85 percent of individuals arrested on immigration charges also have criminal convictions or pending criminal charges. Some individuals have multiple criminal convictions and pending charges for crimes against victims.
Some of the particularly egregious arrests in New York include:
A 38-year-old Salvadoran citizen arrested in Uniondale, New York. ICE previously removed the subject from the U.S. following a conviction in 2005 for third-degree rape of a victim less than 17 years old.
A 23-year-old, self-described 18th Street gang member and Salvadoran citizen arrested in Hempstead, New York. An immigration judge in Massachusetts ordered the subject removed from the U.S. in absentia in 2019. A judge convicted the ICE fugitive in 2020 for third-degree assault: recklessly causing physical injury.
A 27-year old Honduran citizen arrested in the Bronx. ICE previously removed the subject in 2012. In May 2020, local police arrested the ICE fugitive for third-degree assault: intent to cause physical injury, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation; and second-degree harassment: physical contact.
A 41-year-old Israeli citizen arrested in Brooklyn. The subject was released from custody with an active detainer following his June 19, 2020 arrest for second-degree assault: intent to cause serious physical injury; third-degree assault: intent to cause physical injury; second-degree menacing: weapon; and second-degree harassment: physical contact.
A 38-year-old Salvadoran citizen arrested in East Meadow, New York. An immigration judge previously ordered the subject removed from the U.S. in 2006. In July 2020, the ICE fugitive was released from local law enforcement custody with an active detainer, following an arrest for second-degree assault: intent to cause physical injury with a weapon/instrument; and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon: intent to use.
ERO deportation officers made arrests throughout New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and Jersey City, New Jersey.
ICE ERO New York Field Office Director Thomas R. Decker explained that despite the inherent risk of conducting operations during a pandemic, ERO New York successfully carried out the mission while ensuring the safety of agency personnel and arrestees by wearing personnel protective equipment, which included face masks, eye protection, and gloves.
“Some criminal aliens may think that just because the nation is fighting the coronavirus, ICE is impaired from carrying out its sworn duty of removing egregious criminals from American communities,” said Decker. “I think the 83 immigration arrests in New York are evidence that that could not be farther from the truth. ICE officers will continue to conduct enforcement removal operations while making every effort to minimize the risk to agency personnel, aliens, and the public during this pandemic.”
Decker expressed dismay at the fact that more than 50 of the 83 individuals arrested in the operation in New York were released from local custody due to declined detainers.
“It’s shocking to think that instead of criminal aliens being safely transferred to ICE custody, local sanctuary city policies force law enforcement agencies to release them back into the streets to commit more criminal acts,” Decker said.
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.
ICE exercises all appropriate prosecutorial discretion when encountering the family members of arrest targets and evaluates each individual situation to determine the appropriate course of action. In according with ICE Directive 10076.1 Prosecutorial Discretion: Certain Victims, Witnesses, and Plaintiffs, ICE should exercise all appropriate prosecutorial discretion to minimize any effect that immigration enforcement may have on the willingness and ability of victims, witnesses, and plaintiffs to call police and pursue justice.
Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE)
The VOICE office provides victims and their loved ones a single point of contact to obtain information regarding criminal aliens in ICE custody. Victims can receive automated custody status information, releasable case history about the perpetrator, or information about ICE's immigration enforcement and removal process.
Victims of crimes committed by individuals with a nexus to immigration are encouraged to contact ICE’s VOICE office at 1-855-488-6423.