NEWARK – Dulce Maria Alavez, who was five years old at the time, was last seen September 16, during a family outing to Bridgeton City Park in Cumberland County and later went missing. FBI Newark, in coordination with state and local law enforcement, are investigating the abduction. ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) wants to reiterate the agency's policy to ensure witnesses feel comfortable to report information to authorities.
It is not ICE policy to affirmatively target alien victims, witnesses, or plaintiffs for immigration enforcement. Rather, ICE officers are trained to exercise prosecutorial discretion in performing their immigration enforcement duties. Indeed, federal immigration law makes certain forms of immigration benefits available under certain circumstances to individuals who assist law enforcement or who have been victimized by criminal activity. Advocacy groups, NGOs, and politicians are doing a disservice to the victims they are claiming to protect by disseminating inaccurate information asserting that, if victims report a crime to local authorities, they may be arrested by ICE. ICE's policy memo on alien victims and witnesses is available at: ICE Directive 10076.1 Prosecutorial Discretion: Certain Victims, Witnesses, and Plaintiffs,