Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gang members arrested in immigration sweep (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Gang members arrested in immigration sweep
By Linda Spice

THURSDAY, June 12, 2008, 11:09 a.m.

State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen today announced the arrest of eight suspected criminal illegal immigrants accused of having Entered Without Inspection (EWI) in and around Sheboygan earlier this week.

The arrests are a result of ongoing efforts to identify, arrest and turn over violent individuals known to be members or organized criminal street gangs to federal immigration authorities for administrative proceedings, according to Van Hollen's office.

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Sheboygan Police Department and the Sheboygan County Sheriff's Office as well as Wisconsin Department of Justice Special Agents participated in the arrests as part of Operation Community Shield. The program is a national law enforcement initiative that targets violent transitional street gangs through the use of ICE's broad law enforcement powers, including the unique authority to remove and deport criminals, including illegal immigrants and those with legal permanent resident status.

"The identification and arrest of illegal aliens who organize and are members of criminal street gangs must be a top priority of all law enforcement. The success of this operation speaks for itself. These street criminals are now out of Wisconsin neighborhoods and off the streets," said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen in a statement. He went on to say, "I am grateful to the Sheboygan Police Department, the Sheboygan County Sheriff, and the ICE officials with whom we have and will continue to work cooperatively."

Those arrested are being held in a federally contracted holding facility in Wisconsin. They will be brought before federal officials to consider their ultimate disposition and deportation, according to Van Hollen's office.

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