Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Thursday that agents have arrested over 130 illegal immigrant sex offenders as part of a national operation – promising to continue in its efforts to remove illegal aliens convicted of such crimes.
ICE said that its Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) had apprehended 138 “unlawfully present noncitizens” convicted of sex offenders, including some with a current deportation order. The operation took place between Oct. 22 and Nov 4.
The agency, in a release, gave a lengthy list of those arrested by agents in the operations. They include a 65-year-old Mexican convicted of continuous sex abuse of a child in March this year, a Guatemalan arrested in Chicago who had a conviction for predatory criminal sexual assault of a minor, and a 49-year-old Cameroon national convicted of sexual abuse in June.
Additionally, agents arrested a Bolivian in New York with a conviction of first-degree rape, a Mexican in Texas with a conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a child, and a Nicaraguan in California with convictions for assault with intent to rape, second-degree robbery and rape with force/violence/fear of bodily injury.
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“Crimes of sexual violence are among the most underreported in the United States — anyone can be a victim of this type of abuse, and our officers are dedicated to locating and apprehending known noncitizen offenders as part of their public safety mission,” ERO Executive Associate Director Corey Price said in a statement.
“ERO will continue efforts such as these to remove unlawfully present individuals who have committed crimes against the innocent so they cannot continue to harm vulnerable populations within our communities,” he said.
The Biden administration controversially moved to significantly narrow ICE’s enforcement priorities. Guidance issued in 2021 limited ICE to focus on aggravated felons, national security threats and recent border crossers. That guidance coincided with a sharp drop in deportations and arrests of illegal immigrants.
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Earlier this year, in response to a lawsuit from Republican states, that guidance was blocked. However, while that guidance was in effect, ICE has conducted similar operations to bring in and remove sex offenders and there were 3,415 sexual assault offenses associated with arrests it made in FY 2021.
Last month, the agency announced it had arrested over 170 illegal immigrants who had multiple DUI convictions in a similar operation.
ICE said in its statement that ICE officers “make case decisions in a responsible manner, informed by their experience as law enforcement professionals and in a way that best protects against the greatest threats to the homeland.”