SAN ANTONIO – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Tuesday the results of recent enforcement actions targeting removable aliens who have been arrested for, or have pending charges or convictions, for crimes involving victims.
“With each arrest, our aim is to not only protect their current victims but to prevent future ones. Our communities will now be safer after the removal of these wanted perpetrators,” said Jose Correa, field office director for Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) San Antonio. “We will continue to target criminals illegally in the U.S. who pose a threat to public safety.”
Data captured from July 13 to Aug. 20 shows that ICE officers arrested 125 at-large individuals in central and south Texas living illegally in the U.S., or who are removable from the U.S. due to their criminal histories. About 85 percent of those arrested by ICE on immigration charges also had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.
Many had multiple criminal convictions and pending charges for crimes committed against victims. (Note: these numbers represent criminal charges and convictions, not individuals. Individuals can have multiple criminal charges and convictions.) Those crimes included:
- 23 for assault – simple assault, battery against family and non-family members and assault against law enforcement
- 5 for domestic violence
- 2 for sexual offenses – rape, sexual assault, indecent exposure and failure to register as a sex offender
- 1 homicide – negligent manslaughter
- 2 for terroristic state offenses
- 14 for under the influence
- 11 for drug trafficking
- 12 for possession of a controlled substance
- 1 for smuggling aliens
Examples of arrests include:
- In Waco, Texas, a 37-year-old citizen of Mexico, was arrested and convicted in December 2006, by the Durham District Court in Durham, North Carolina for possession of drug paraphernalia. He was sentenced to 45 days confinement and 12 months’ probation. The individual was also convicted in October 2012 by the Bell County Court in Belton for burglary habitation with intent to commit a sex offense. He was sentenced to seven years confinement.
- In New Braunfels, Texas, a 47-year-old citizen of Mexico, was charged with statutory rape in April 1995, and sentenced to 15 months of probation. In June 1996, he was charged with rape but was acquitted in September 1997. In April 1994, the individual was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and sentenced to 12 months of probation.
- In Laredo, Texas, a 60-year-old citizen of Mexico, was convicted in October 1996, for manufacture/deliver and selling marijuana. He was sentenced to two years in prison.
- In Brownsville, Texas, a 37-year-old citizen of Mexico, was convicted of illegal reentry in November 2008. He was sentenced to 140 days incarceration. In September 2011, he was convicted of assault causing bodily injury on a family member and sentenced to 12 months in prison. In October 2012, he was prosecuted and convicted for illegal reentry and sentenced to 21 months incarceration. The individual is also an active gang member of the Paisas prison gang.
- In Round Rock, Texas, a 33-year-old citizen of Mexico, was convicted on June 30, 2020, to one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of intoxication assault with a vehicle with significant bodily injury.
ICE continues to target criminal aliens and other public safety and national security threats every day. 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 takes many factors into account when targeting and arresting individuals, including their criminal and immigration history.
Victims of crime committed by individuals with a nexus to immigration are encouraged to contact ICE’s VOICE office if they need assistance. The VOICE office affords victims and their loved ones a single point of contact to obtain information regarding criminal aliens in ICE custody, including the ability to get automated custody status information, releasable case history about the perpetrator, or having an ICE representative explain the immigration enforcement and removal process. The toll-free VOICE Hotline number is 1-855-48-VOICE.
ICE exercises all appropriate prosecutorial discretion when encountering the family members of arrest targets and evaluates each individual situation to determine the appropriate course of action. In according with ICE Directive 10076.1 Prosecutorial Discretion: Certain Victims, Witnesses, and Plaintiffs, ICE should exercise all appropriate prosecutorial discretion to minimize any effect that immigration enforcement may have on the willingness and ability of victims, witnesses, and plaintiffs to call police and pursue justice.
In FY 2019, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested individuals with more than 1,900 convictions and charges for homicide, 1,800 for kidnapping, 12,000 sex offenses, 5,000 sexual assaults, 45,000 assaults, 67,000 crimes involving drugs, 10,000 weapons offenses, and 74,000 DUIs.