Displaying items by tag: ICE

ICE arrests 1,378 over six weeks in targeting gangs

  • Published in U.S.

May 11 (UPI) -- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement concluded a six-week nationwide operation targeting gangs that made 1,378 arrests, the agency announced Thursday.

Of the arrests that ended Saturday, 1,095 were confirmed as gang members and affiliates, including 137 with the Bloods, 118 with the Sureños, 104 with MS-13 and 104 with the Crips, ICE said. The remaining 283 claimed no gang affiliation but were arrested on criminal or administrative charges.

"Gangs threaten the safety of our communities, not just in major metropolitan areas, but in our suburbs and rural areas, too," ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan said Thursday. "Gang-related violence and criminal activity present an ongoing challenge for law enforcement everywhere."

State, local and federal law enforcement partners participated in the operation led by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations that started March 26.

Operation Community Shield began in 2005 "to target violent gang members and their associates, eradicate the violence they inflict upon our communities and stop the cash flow to transnational organized crime groups," according to an ICE release. HSI special agents, working in conjunction with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, have made more than 47,000 gang-related arrests.

But since Donald Trump became president in January, immigration agents have stepped up their efforts.

"The goal at end of day is to arrest, prosecute, imprison, and deport and remove transnational gang members as well as to suppress violence and prosecute criminal enterprises," Derek Benner, deputy executive associate director of Homeland Security investigations, said at a news conference.

The arrests included 1,098 on federal and/or state criminal charges with 21 arrested on murder related charges and seven for rape and sexual assault charges. The remaining 280 were arrested on administrative immigration violations.

Of the arrests, 933 were U.S. citizens and 445 were foreign nationals from 21 countries in South and Central America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean.

Three who were arrested were part of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals -- DACA. Those granted DACA and found to pose a threat to national security or public safety may have their deferred action terminated at any time and the Department of Homeland Security may seek to report them. Since DACA began in 2012, DHS has terminated the status for approximately 1,500 individuals due to criminality or gang affiliation concerns.

Ten arrested crossed the border as unaccompanied minors, including nine as gang members.

The greatest arrested were in Houston, New York, Atlanta and Newark, N.J. areas.

Agents seize $491,763 in U.S. currency, more than 200 firearms, narcotics like cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl and marijuana.

By Allen Cone UPI News


ICE Coming to Courts. What can you do?

Question: I have a roommate who left an abusive relationship. She actually filed a Temporary Restraining Order against this person. Court was yesterday. She went to Court to testify in front of the Judge so that he would rule in her favor and her abuser would not come within 100 yards from her and hurt her again. She won the temporary restraining order, but when she was leaving the Courthouse, she was apprehended by ICE. She is now in detention. Can ICE do this?

Answer: Yes, if the person they apprehend is inside the U.S. and here illegally, they can be apprehended. It is unfortunate and chilling that ICE has decided to do this for people at Court and coming out of Court. What message will this send? It will send the message that people who are illegal and who are victims of crime, that they should not go and get justice against those persons who committed the crime on them. In this exact case upon which you have asked the question, she probably would have kept taking the abuse from the person committing domestic violence on her and she would have lived in fear every day that he is around the corner and will abuse her more.

It also emboldens the accuser and the perpetrator. They will know the fear that the person who is not here legally has and will use that against them. They will commit their crimes on the victims and then tell them if they are reported to the police that ICE will be called and they will be deported.

ICE’s decision to do this is deplorable. They have no sense of how this will affect victims. You can already see statistics. People here illegally are reporting much less crimes. This is not because there are less crimes, but because they are afraid of the police, of ICE and of being deported. In fact, there are probably more crimes actually being committed.

Question: My friend said that ICE wanted to force her to sign her deportation papers. She felt compelled to do this. However, she luckily read something that she has a right not to sign. What can be done?

Answer: You are correct. She did the right thing by not signing. Now, she will have an opportunity to fight her case in Immigration Court. She might qualify for VAWA, or the U Visa, or the T Visa or possibly the S Visa. There are other avenues as well.

Question: Could she have resisted the ICE Official?

Answer: Most likely not. However, she had and has a right to not speak to the officer and not to answer questions. She should simply say “I am choosing not to speak to you as that is my legal right and I am going to have my Immigration Attorney help me.”

Question: She is in detention now. Can she get out?

Answer: Yes, a Motion for a Bond Redetermination can be made. It will show she is not a flight risk and not a danger to the community. If granted, then she will be released during the pendency of the deportation hearings. I certainly understand the reluctance to report crimes. However, the way to help yourself is to see an Immigration /Deportation Attorney who can see if and what you might qualify for under the U.S. Immigration Laws. ICE only wants to deport you. If you will see an Immigration Attorney in sufficient time, then you might very well be able to be helped and to later obtain legal status.

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