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Enforcement and Removal
10/13/2015

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ICE targets central Pennsylvania criminal aliens for removal

PHILADELPHIA — A dozen criminal aliens living near York, Pennsylvania, were arrested during a six-day enforcement operation that ended on Friday. The aliens were taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

“These aliens were targeted because they meet the agency’s highest enforcement priorities,” said Tom Decker, ERO Philadelphia field office director. “By taking these individuals off our streets and removing them from the country, we are making our communities safer for everyone.”

The enforcement officers who conducted the Operation Cross Check were from the York ERO field office, and they targeted the individuals from Oct. 4 through Oct. 9, focusing on the arrests of those who are the most public safety threats. Those arrested are from all over the world and have a wide-array of criminal convictions — many have committed multiple offenses. 

The criminals arrested include:

  • A 55-year-old Jamaican national with convictions for three domestic violence counts, tampering with felony proceedings, making harassing phone calls, as well as being arrested and charged with multiple other crimes. 
  • A 26-year-old Dominican Republic national for convictions including theft, five counts of cruelty to animals, 19 traffic-related convictions, and he was arrested for threatening to kill another person with a firearm.
  • A 24-year-old Colombian national who was convicted of driving under the influence -- with the highest rate of alcohol. 
  • A 29-year-old Dominican Republic national who was convicted of indecently assaulting a child less than 16 years old and also of driving under the influence.
  • A 37-year-old Cambodian national who was convicted of drug charges and then also of illegally selling firearms.

This operation targeted priorities as established in the Department of Homeland Security’s Nov. 20, 2014 memorandum entitled “Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants.” Priority 1 targets 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 during the operation, who are not being criminally prosecuted, will be 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, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future. 

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.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/14/2015