Caribbean nationals among 76 criminal aliens arrested in Florida and Puerto Rico
BASSETERRE, St Kitts — Nationals of a number of Caribbean countries are said to be among 76 criminal aliens arrested in Florida and Puerto Rico.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said its officers arrested 76 criminal aliens recently in an enforcement action targeting individuals who pose a threat to public safety. ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers made the arrests across the state of Florida.
Of those arrested by ICE during the enforcement action, which was conducted from April 18-21, 57 had criminal records that included felony convictions for serious or violent offences, such as lewd and lascivious behaviour, sexual battery, child sex crimes, sex offences, aggravated assault with deadly weapon, weapons charges and drug violations. Additionally, 19 had less serious or violent violations to include larceny, petty theft, trespass, driving under the influence, fraud, driving with no driver’s licence.
“ICE is committed to making our communities safer by removing threats to our public safety,” said Marc J. Moore, field office director for the Miami Field Office of ERO, which oversees all of Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. “Communities across Florida and Puerto Rico are safer today because of the hard work of our ERO officers.”
Thirteen of those detained during the action are previously removed individuals who may be prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office for felony re-entry after deportation.
During the operation, ERO was supported by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), US Customs and Border Protection and other federal and local law enforcement agencies, including the Diplomatic Security Service.
The arrests were made in the Florida counties of: Broward (16), Collier (2), Duval (4), Hillsborough (4), Martin (20), Miami Dade (16), Orange (11), and municipalities in Puerto Rico (3).
Some examples of arrests from the action include:
On April 18, ERO officers arrested a Jamaican citizen in Oakland Park who is a lawful permanent resident of the US. In 2002 the subject was convicted of attempted sexual battery on a minor. The subject is currently pending a removal hearing by an immigration judge.
On April 19, ERO officers arrested a Haitian citizen in the West Palm Beach area. The subject was previously convicted in 2001 for attempted sexual battery; and burglary of a dwelling. The subject has had an Immigration Removal Order since 2015.
On April 20, ERO officers arrested a Bahamian citizen in Miami who has been a lawful permanent resident since 1983. The subject has convictions from 1995 for sexual assault, burglary, robbery, kidnapping an adult and was registered as a sex offender. The subject is currently pending removal proceedings before an immigration judge.
On April 21, ERO officers arrested a Mexican citizen in Miami who has previously been removed from the US on two separate occasions. The subject was convicted for the crimes of cocaine possession, aggravated assault on family with a weapon, and false imprisonment. The subject is currently pending criminal prosecution for illegal re-entry into the US.
Those arrested represented many countries throughout the world, including: Bahamas, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, South Africa, St Kitts, Ukraine, Vietnam.
Arrested individuals who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.
All of the targets in this operation were amenable to arrest and removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
ICE deportation officers carry out targeted enforcement operations daily nationwide as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect the nation, uphold public safety, and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls. These operations involve existing and established Fugitive Operations Teams.
During the targeted enforcement operations, ICE officers frequently encounter other aliens illegally present in the United States. They are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and, when appropriate, they are arrested by ICE officers.
In fiscal year 2016, ICE conducted 240,255 removals nationwide. Ninety-two percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a crime.