One of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) priorities is arresting child predators and bringing them to a court of law where they face justice, or in some cases, sending them back to their home countries.
But first, convicted child sexual predators, some of whom are in the country illegally, must be located. The Fugitive Operations Support Center (FOSC) and Fugitive Operations Teams (FOT) of ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) tracks and targets criminal aliens convicted of sexual crimes against children.
ERO’s Sex Offender Registration (SOR) initiative, which started two years ago, has so far resulted in the arrest of 200 criminal aliens convicted of sex crimes, with the most recent arrest taking place on March 1. On that day, FOT officers from New York City, acting on a lead from the FOSC, located and arrested a 28 year-old criminal alien convicted of felony sexual abuse and sexual contact with a child under the age of 14. The subject is now in ICE custody and awaiting removal from the United States.
The 200 criminal aliens arrested were convicted of crimes such as sexual assault and battery, rape and indecent exposure. A 39-year-old Iraqi national was convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor via telecommunications; a 31-year-old Salvadoran national was convicted of 3rd degree rape of a victim under the age of 17 and a 22-year-old national of Thailand was convicted of lewd or lascivious acts upon a child under the age of14.
Those arrested were from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Vietnam, Haiti, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Liberia, Sudan, India, Nicaragua, Canada, Pakistan and Sierra Leone, among other countries.
The success of SOR is due to the collaborative effort between ICE’s Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) and FOSC, both located in Williston, Vermont. Here’s how it works: LESC gathers sex offender data and identifies criminal information with an immigration nexus. FOSC develops this information into actionable leads for investigative follow-up. Armed with this information, ERO offices across the nation conduct enforcement action.
Each week LESC generates an alien sex offender list, which is sent to the FOSC where review, research, correlation and examination of records take place. Leads are then provided to FOTs and other ERO enforcement personnel who strategically plan and conduct operations to take down targeted criminal aliens.
"Child predators prowl around in search of young victims who are inherently innocent, inexperienced and trusting by nature,” said Francisco Madrigal, ICE Deputy Assistant Director for the Fugitive Operations and Training Division. “SOR has proven to be a successful and collaborative tool that allows us to focus our resources on arresting convicted sex offender aliens. Furthermore, through ICE’s immigration enforcement authorities, the agency often removes these threats from the United States."
FOSC was established in 2006 to assist the National Fugitive Operations Program with the targeted enforcement goals of reducing the fugitive backlog and addressing the criminal alien population in the United States. To learn more about ERO’s Fugitive Operations, click here.