ICE Arrests Dozens of Illegal Alien Sex Offenders in Nationwide Sweep

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on Monday that it had arrested dozens of foreign nationals, many of whom were unlawfully present in the country, who were convicted of sex crimes in the United States for removal from the country.

Foreign nationals who are convicted of aggravated felonies are “deportable” from the United States under federal law and are subject to “expedited removal” proceedings to ensure they leave the country quickly. Between Feb. 5 and Feb. 16, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) directorate arrested 275 foreign nationals who were convicted of offenses under this category, according to ICE press releases.

“The individuals identified in this operation were found guilty of committing sexual crimes, often against the most vulnerable members of our population, and therefore forfeited their right to remain in the United States,” wrote Mellissa Harper, the ICE ERO New Orleans field director, in a press release.

Those arrested include:

  • A 37-year-old citizen of Mexico in Glenwood Springs who was convicted of attempted sex assault of a child and sexual contact/no consent.
  • A 25-year-old citizen of Mexico in Denver who was convicted of felony child prostitution and soliciting.
  • A 64 year-old citizen of the United Kingdom in Greeley who was convicted of felony obscenity promotion to minor and sex assault of a child.
  • A 29-year-old citizen of Guatemala in Littleton who was convicted of second degree felony sexual conduct with a victim under 16 years of age.
  • A 49-year-old citizen of Mexico in Aurora who was convicted of felony sexual battery.
  • A 47-year-old citizen of Mexico in Denver who was convicted of felony assault 2/drugging a victim.

The operation occurred in several major U.S. cities, such as Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle and New Orleans. Those arrested were of various foreign nationalities, including Mexico, the United Kingdom, Guatemala, El Salvador, India, Cuba and Egypt, among others, ranging in age from 21 to 62, according to ICE press releases, with many of their criminal offenses involved sex crimes against children.

The ERO directorate is one of three operational directorates within ICE — the other two being Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the agency’s legal advisor — responsible for enforcing federal law and removing persons from the United States who are ordered deported by immigration judges. In the past, ICE has removed many violent gang members from the United States, such as members of the group MS-13.

There are estimated to be millions of foreign nationals who are unlawfully present in the United States, according to the Pew Research Center. While these individuals, termed “aliens” under federal law, may be deportable, ICE’s policy is to “use [its] inherent discretion as law enforcement officials to focus enforcement resources on those who pose a threat to national security, public safety or border security. These efforts include noncitizens with final orders of removal,” according to the agency’s press releases.

On Sept. 30, 2021, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued a memorandum to ICE and other Department of Homeland Security officials regarding “guidelines for the enforcement of civil immigration law.” The memorandum outlines the aforementioned focus of ICE as well as mitigating factors that are considered before ICE pursues removal proceedings.

“In exercising our discretion, we are guided by the fact that the majority of undocumented noncitizens who could be subject to removal have been contributing members of our communities for years,” wrote Mayorkas in his memorandum. “The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen therefore should not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them. We will use our discretion and focus our enforcement resources in a more targeted way. Justice and our country’s well-being require it.”

Many left-wing political groups and activists have called for the abolition of ICE due to its removal responsibilities.

By Melinda Davies
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