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Enforcement and Removal

Top Story: ICE program prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens

2 ICE Agents in a room with a detainee
six-member team that received Award
six-member team that received Award
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers work diligently to remove criminal aliens from our streets. This is accomplished through a multi-pronged approach that begins with ERO's Criminal Alien Program.

The Criminal Alien Program identifies, processes and removes criminal aliens incarcerated in jails and prisons throughout the United States. It was created to prevent criminal aliens from being released into the general public. The program, whenever possible, secures a final removal order prior to the termination of criminal aliens' sentences so they are not released back into our communities.

Members from the program's Violent Criminal Alien Section (VCAS), which focuses on obtaining federal prosecutions and subsequent removal orders for violent criminal aliens, received a 2011 U.S. Attorney's Award. This six-member team from Houston was honored for its 53 percent increase in federal 8 USC §1326 re-entry prosecutions over the previous year. The Houston VCAS Unit successfully investigated and indicted 456 cases in the Southern District of Texas, all while working closely with the U.S. Attorney's Office there.

The award was personally presented to members of the VCAS Unit by U.S. Attorney Jose Angel Moreno at a ceremony at the Federal Reserve Bank in Houston. During the ceremony, Moreno thanked the members of the unit for all of their hard work, adding that their contributions have made a significant impact on public safety.

Houston Supervisory Detention and Deportation Officer John McPoland attributed much of the unit's success to its ability to work as a team.

"They worked cohesively, backing each other up and taking on whatever responsibilities were needed to get the job done," he said.

Learn more about the Criminal Alien Program.