DHS, ICE arrests more than 170 at-large aliens in sanctuary jurisdictions

ICE officers arresting criminal aliens. Photo courtesy: US Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE)

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced on Thursday the conclusion of a week-long targeted enforcement operation that resulted in the apprehension of more than 170 at-large aliens throughout the U.S., where sanctuary policies have largely prohibited the cooperation of law enforcement agencies in the arrest of criminal aliens.

ICE officers assigned to field offices in Seattle, Denver, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. conducted the enforcement actions October 3 through October 9. The enforcement actions focused on aliens subject to removal who were arrested for crimes but were released by state or local law enforcement agencies despite having active immigration detainers in place. More than 80 percent of aliens arrested had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges at the time of arrest.

“Last fiscal year, 86 percent of people arrested by ICE had criminal convictions or pending charges. ICE focuses its resources on those who pose the greatest threat to public safety. The men and women of ICE put their lives on the line every day to keep these individuals off the streets,” said Acting DHS Secretary Chad F. Wolf. “The department will continue to carry out lawful enforcement actions in order to keep our communities safe, regardless of whether or not we have cooperation from state and local officials. Politics will not come before safety when enforcing the law and keeping our citizens safe.”

“ICE continues to protect communities by taking criminal aliens off the streets regardless of any locality’s cooperation policies – which is part of our congressionally mandated mission,” said ICE Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director Tony H. Pham. “Officers and agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are sworn federal law enforcement officers who enforce U.S. immigration laws created by Congress to keep this country safe.”

During these recent enforcement actions, ICE officers identified, targeted and arrested multiple criminal aliens who were previously released from local and state law enforcement custody despite having lawful immigration detainers lodged with local law enforcement officials. In the New York City area alone, officers arrested nearly 50 unlawfully present individuals with criminal histories that include sexual assault, sex crime, assault, robbery, larceny, family neglect and DUI.