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December 22, 2020Atlanta, GA, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE Atlanta announces latest results of operation targeting aliens who failed to depart US voluntarily

ATLANTA – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Atlanta Field Office announced Tuesday the local results of an ongoing national enforcement effort called “Operation Broken Promise.” The operation targets for arrest and removal aliens who failed to depart the U.S. voluntarily after being granted voluntary departure by an immigration judge.

From Monday, Dec. 7, to Tuesday, Dec. 17, ERO Atlanta officers arrested seven individuals who failed to depart after being granted voluntary departure. All seven of those arrested had prior criminal convictions.

“An immigration judge granted these individuals who had entered the United States illegally the chance to voluntary depart the country at their own expense to avoid many of the immigration consequences associated with being deported,” said Thomas Giles, field office director of ICE ERO in Atlanta, Georgia. “Instead of taking advantage of that opportunity, they continued to disregard U.S. law at every turn and breached their promise to the U.S. government that they would depart the country by a certain date.”

Voluntary departure is typically requested by the alien and granted by an immigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, where the alien is granted about 60 to 120 days to arrange their own departure, versus facing a formal deportation and the barriers to readmission that it carries. Voluntary departures benefit U.S. taxpayers by lowering the costs of deportations.

When an alien fails to depart the country per the agreement, they become subject to a final removal order which is then carried out as a formal deportation by ICE. In addition to the barrier on readmission, an illegal reentry after a formal deportation is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Among the criminal aliens arrested by ERO Atlanta since Dec. 7 included a criminal alien from Mexico who has previously been convicted four times of driving under the influence, a criminal alien from Mexico who has been convicted twice of driving under the influence and of failure to report/striking a fixed object and a criminal alien from Guatemala who has been convicted twice for driving under the influence.

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.

Every day as part of routine operations, ICE targets and arrests aliens who commit crimes, and other individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws. While being mindful of the current pandemic, ICE is continuing to conduct its critical public safety and immigration enforcement mission, while taking efforts to minimize the risks to officers, aliens, and the public related to COVID-19.

Updated: 12/23/2020