SAN DIEGO – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation officers arrested 20 criminal aliens and immigration violators during a five-day enforcement surge focused on immigration fugitives with a final removal order and a criminal conviction(s) or a criminal charge. The surge comes just as the Trump administration announced that it had plans to track down and remove upwards of one million illegal aliens.
The weeklong operation, which concluded yesterday, was conducted throughout San Diego county by ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in San Diego.
Of those arrested during this operation, 85 percent had prior criminal convictions and/or prior criminal charges. Convictions for those arrested included drugs, weapons offenses, hit-and-run, driving under the influence, theft, domestic violence, evading law enforcement and fraud criminal offenses.
“Targeted operations like this reflect the vital public service that ERO officers do every day to protect the nation, uphold public safety and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border control,” said Field Office Director Gregory Archambeault. “We will continue to conduct similar operations, while seeking to ultimately remove criminal aliens with a final order of removal and other immigration fugitives who pose a threat to public safety.”
During the operation, ICE deportation officers also arrested seven immigration violators, in conjunction with the targets of the operation, who were taken into ICE custody and processed for removal.
Those who were primary targets of this operation will be removed from the United States pursuant to their final order. Those without final orders of removal will be issued a notice to appear before an immigration judge and remain in ICE custody during the pendency of their removal proceedings.
The arrests included:
- In Oceanside, a 31-year-old Mexican national who is a fugitive criminal alien with a final order of removal, sentenced to 144 days for a DUI conviction. After the immigration judge granted him voluntary departure, he failed to depart timely and appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which dismissed the appeal and issued a mandate that he ignored and chose to remain illegally in the U.S.
- In San Diego, a 33-year-old Mexican national was arrested during the operation. He was previously ordered removed by an immigration judge in 2007. After having been removed, the man illegally re-entered the U.S. seven times and was removed. In addition to the seven prior removals and illegal re-entries, records indicate he has two additional DUI arrests and was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon. He was removed from the United States July 10.
In FY2018, ERO arrested 158,581 aliens, 90% of whom had criminal convictions (66%) pending criminal charges (21%) or previously issued final orders of removal (3%). The overall arrest figure represents an 11% increase over FY2017. In FY2018, ERO removed 256,086 illegal aliens, reflecting an increase of 13% over FY2017. Most removals (57%) were convicted criminals. Additionally, 5,914 of the removed illegal aliens were classified as either known or suspected gang members or terrorists, which is a 9% increase over FY2017.
These arrests were driven by leads developed by the local field office in conjunction with the Pacific Enforcement Response Center and the National Criminal Alien Targeting Center. ICE focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. However, ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All those in violation of immigration law may be subject to arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States. ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that arrest aliens indiscriminately.
Editor’s Note: The arrest statistics provided in this news release represent preliminary data that has been manually reported to ICE headquarters.