A five-day operation targeting criminal aliens and those charged with immigration violations resulted in more than 100 arrests in New Jersey, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on Tuesday.
According to ICE, 80 percent of the arrests were of individuals with previous felony convictions, including assault, sex crimes and drug- and child-pornography-related offenses. The illegal aliens arrested ranged in age from 20 to 71.
“As part of this operation, we continue focus on the arrest of individuals who are criminal and are a threat to public safety and national security,” said John Tsoukaris, who heads ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in Newark.
The news of the enforcement operations comes a week after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported an increase of interior enforcement efforts.
According to a recent blog post by FAIR’s Elizabeth Jacobs, ICE and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) field offices made 143,470 arrests and 226,119 removals in FY 2017. In comparison, ICE and ERO made just 114,470 arrests and 240,255 removals in FY2016.
Evidence of the renewed focus on immigration fugitives and criminal aliens can be seen in recent enforcement operations across the country. For example, last week ICE arrested 27 foreign nationals, including a Mexican national with a prior conviction for assaulting a law enforcement official, in western Michigan. Like New Jersey, 80 percent of those arrested had illegally crossed the border and also had criminal convictions.
On Friday, ICE also reported that 22 arrests were made during enforcement operations throughout northern Kentucky in early December.
Most of the aliens targeted by ERO deportation officers had previous convictions. One 35-year-old Guatemalan man captured on December 6 had multiple DUI convictions and had been deported and illegally re-entered the United States.
In issuing guidelines stating that individuals in the U.S. illegally would be subject to arrest, the Trump administration removed the shackles from the hands of law enforcement agents. The surge in enforcement actions is demonstrable proof of the progress that can be made when ICE agents are fully authorized to fulfill their mission to protect American citizens.