PHILADELPHIA — More than 100 criminal aliens convicted of sex crimes, mostly against children, are facing deportation proceedings or were removed from the country after being arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) since the beginning of the fiscal year.
Since last October, 108 criminal aliens were arrested in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia as part of the ERO Philadelphia’s focus on removing those who pose a public-safety threat. These aliens are priorities for removal as established in the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Nov. 20, 2014 memorandum entitled “Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants.”
Those who were arrested are from all over the world, and in addition to the child predator charges, many have multiple criminal convictions.
One of the most egregious offenders arrested was Ry Yam, a 45-year-old Cambodian man who has multiple arrests and criminal convictions in California and Pennsylvania.
In 1990 Yam was convicted in California for assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to 10 months in jail with three years’ probation.
In December 2014, Yam was convicted of corruption of minors in Philadelphia and sentenced to 11 and a half to 23 months in jail. He was also required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.
ERO Philadelphia officers arrested him near his home during a targeted enforcement operation in May after he was released from Philadelphia custody. He is now awaiting deportation proceedings for his return to Cambodia.
Others arrested include:
- A 41-year-old Mexican man who was convicted of sexual battery – twice.
- A Jamaican citizen, 53, who was convicted of kidnapping with sexual motivation and attempted murder along with separate offenses of inflicting corporal injury on his spouse and child abuse.
- A 41-year-old child pornographer from the Dominican Republic.
- A Cuban citizen, 43, who was convicted of child sexual abuse and possession of child pornography.
According to the DHS enforcement policies most of these criminals were Priority 1 targets, which include threats to national security, criminal street gang members, convicted felons, and aggravated felons. Priority 2 targets have convictions for three or more misdemeanors or convictions for significant misdemeanors, including DUIs.
The foreign nationals detained who are not being criminally prosecuted, will be or were processed administratively for removal from the United States. Those who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future, or are already deported.
ICE prioritizes the use of enforcement personnel, detention space, and removal assets to support the civil immigration enforcement priorities. By taking criminals who pose public safety threats off community streets and removing them from the country, ICE addresses a significant security and public safety vulnerability.
This enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE’s National Fugitive Operations Program, which locates, arrests and removes at-large criminals. The officers who conducted this operation received substantial assistance from ICE’s Fugitive Operations Support Center and ICE’s Law Enforcement Support Center, both located in Williston, Vermont.
In fiscal 2014, ERO removed 315,943 individuals from the United States. In addition to convicted criminals, the agency’s enforcement priorities include those apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal re-entrants – individuals who returned to the United States after being previously removed by ICE – and immigration fugitives. In fiscal 2014, 98 percent of ICE removals met these priorities.