More than 80 criminal aliens were arrested in Utah during a multi-day sweep across the state last week for crimes the Obama administration has deemed serious enough to warrant deportation proceedings.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations arrested the 82 criminal aliens across 22 counties in the state, with the most arrests occurring in Salt Lake City and West Valley City.
The criminal aliens ICE took into custody in the seven-day long sweep all had prior criminal convictions. According to ICE, those convictions included “driving under the influence (DUI), burglary, resisting officer, making a false report, hit and run, obstructing a police officer, forgery, damage property, cocaine possession, assault, shoplifting, narcotic equipment possession, simple assault, amphetamine possession, dangerous drugs (heroin), carrying a concealed weapon, and controlled substance distribution.”
The vast majority of the criminal aliens arrested (74) were from Mexico, another three were from Honduras, two were from Peru, one from El Salvador, one from Guatemala, and one from Samoa.
The Obama administration has protected a large swath of the illegal immigrant population from deportation not just through executive amnesty programs, but also through its priority enforcement directives. Under these dictates, ICE does not target illegal immigrants who entered the country before January, 2014 and have not committed serious enough crimes.
This most recent enforcement action targeted Priority 1 and Priority 2 criminal aliens. “Priority 1 targets include threats to national security, criminal street gang members, convicted felons, and aggravated felons. Priority 2 targets include convictions for three or more misdemeanors or convictions for significant misdemeanors, including DUIs,” ICE explained in a release.
According to ICE, 98 percent of the immigrants removed from the U.S. in fiscal year 2015 met at least one of the administration’s three priorities for enforcement. The Priority 3 category is the lowest priority level and includes those aliens who have been issued a final order of removal after January 2014.
“ICE’s primary immigration enforcement efforts target convicted criminal aliens,” said Daniel Bible, field office director for ERO Salt Lake City said in a statement. “Consequently, our operations improve overall public safety by removing these criminals from our streets, and ultimately from our country.”
Those arrested in last week’s sweep are being processed for deportation. In a release, ICE offered details about six of the criminal aliens it took into custody:
-A 52-year-old man from Mexico was arrested by ERO officers in West Valley City Jan. 30. He had been convicted of the following felonies: aggravated assault (weapon), carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle, two DUIs, and assault by a prisoner. He remains in ICE custody pending immigration removal proceedings.
-A 36-year-old man from Mexico was arrested in Salt Lake City Feb. 5. He had been convicted of the following felonies: re-entry of a deported alien, and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. He remains in ICE custody pending immigration removal proceedings.
-A 46 year-old man from Mexico was arrested by ERO officers in Salt Lake City Feb 5. He had been convicted of illegally possessing big game, a class B misdemeanor. At the time of his arrest by ERO officers, he illegally possessed a fully loaded 9mm handgun. The U.S. Attorney’s Office accepted him for prosecution for re-entry of a deported alien and illegal alien in possession of a firearm.
-A 24-year old man from Honduras was arrested by ERO officers in Salt Lake City Feb 1. He had been convicted of re-entry of a deported alien, improper entry by an alien, and transport/sell narcotic/controlled substance. He was turned over to local authorities based on an active warrant; ICE lodged an immigration detainer.
-A 57-year old man from Mexico was arrested by ERO officers in Salt Lake City Feb 3. He had been convicted of the following misdemeanor crimes: two DUIs and intoxication. He was turned over to local authorities on an active warrant; ICE lodged an immigration detainer.
-A 20-year old man from Mexico who had been previously removed was arrested by ERO officers in Salt Lake City Feb 5. At the time of his arrest by ERO officers, he possessed a fully loaded 9mm handgun and a fully loaded .22-caliber rifle. The U.S. Attorney’s Office accepted him for prosecution for re-entry of a deported alien and illegal alien in possession of a firearm.