Saturday, October 4, 2008

ICE arrests 78 illegals in week-long Pa./Del. sweep (Sussex Countian)

ICE arrests 78 illegals in week-long Pa./Del. sweep

By Submission
ICE/Immigration & Customs Enforcement
Wed Oct 01, 2008, 10:40 AM EDT


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Tuesday that its local fugitive operations teams arrested a total of 78 illegal aliens during a week long operation in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

ICE officers arrested 43 fugitives, which included 13 with criminal records. During the operation an additional 35 immigration violators were arrested, 13 with criminal histories.

“ICE will continue to fulfill our Congressional mandate to apprehend and deport those who entered our country illegally, especially those who have committed criminal acts,” said Thomas Decker, field office director for ICE Office of Detention and Removal in Philadelphia. “Our job is to help protect the public from those who commit crimes, and to protect the integrity of the nation’s legal immigration system.”

An immigration fugitive is an alien who has failed to depart the United States after receiving a final order of removal from an independent immigration judge, or who has failed to report to a Detention and Removal Officer after receiving notice to do so. People who have illegally re-entered the U.S. after deportation are subject to criminal prosecution or immediate removal from the U.S. Other immigration violators arrested during fugitive operations are charged with being illegally present in the country, placed in removal proceedings and will receive due process in immigration court.

ICE Detention and Removal Operations, received support from ICE Office of Investigations and Federal Protective Service along with the Georgetown Police Department in Delaware and the Ross Police Department in Pennsylvania during this targeted enforcement operation.

Following are examples of fugitive aliens arrested by the Philadelphia Fugitive Operations Teams during this operation:

• A Mexican man was arrested in Selbyville. He had four outstanding arrest warrants for DUI and Probation Violations. He also has an outstanding warrant issued by Virginia for Possession of a Controlled Substance. He was released into the custody of the Delaware State Police due to his arrest warrants and an immigration detainer has been lodged with the Delaware Probation and Parole Office.

• A Vietnamese fugitive was arrested in Dover while trying to register with the state police as a convicted sex offender. He was convicted of Rape & Unlawful Sexual Contact.

• A Guatemalan fugitive was arrested in Georgetown. The individual has convictions for assault and offensive touching, forgery and driving under the influence. He was ordered removed from the country by an immigration judge but failed to depart as required. He will be detained by ICE pending his removal to Guatemala.

The Fugitive Operations Program was established in 2003 to eliminate the nation’s backlog of immigration fugitives. Today, ICE has 95 teams in place across the country. As a result of the efforts of the Fugitive Operations Teams, the nation's fugitive alien population continues to decline. Estimates now place the number of immigration fugitives in the United States at slightly under 560,000, a decrease of more than 34,000 since October 2007.

Members of the Delaware Safety Campaign, a coalition of Hispanic community leaders, local police and others have called an Oct. 2 meeting to discuss the sweeps.

"Due to the recent tactics used by ICE officials in Sussex County, the Delaware Safety Campaign feels the need to call an emergency meeting. Many residents of the community are suffering - including the children who are living in fear of losing a parent and the businesses who are losing employees and customers. The recent tactics used by ICE officials are creating a fear of all law enforcement, which is totally counterproductive to the Delaware Safety Campaign and the trust and collaboration that we have all worked so hard to establish," the group said in a release.

ICE’s Fugitive Operations Program is an integral part of the comprehensive multi-year plan launched by the Department of Homeland Security to secure America’s borders and reduce illegal migration. That strategy seeks to gain operational control of both the northern and southern borders, while re-engineering the detention and removal system to ensure that illegal aliens are removed from the country quickly and efficiently.

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