Dozens of convicted criminal aliens are in custody after being arrested by immigration authorities last week.
During a weeklong enforcement operation, officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 84 criminal aliens in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia.
The aliens arrested had all been convicted of crimes — from corruption of a minor and child pornography to indecent assault, robbery, and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance — or met other Obama administration “priorities” for removal.
Those arrested were from Mexico, Uruguay, Kenya, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Argentina, Liberia, Honduras, Brazil, Ghana, India, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, Bosnia and Germany.
While ICE was able to arrest 84 criminal aliens in a single week, the arrests are a drop in the bucket compared to the estimated 180,000 convicted criminal aliens in deportation proceedings living freely in the U.S. and 170,000 convicted criminal aliens who have been ordered removed but remain at large.
ICE highlighted the enforcement action as part of the administration’s strategy to focus its resources on only those criminal aliens whose crimes are bad enough to warrant removal.
“ICE’s targeted immigration-enforcement operations prioritize arresting convicted criminals and public-safety threats,” Thomas Decker, field office director for ERO Philadelphia, said in a statement. “By focusing our resources on these most egregious offenders, we immediately improve public safety in our communities.”
ICE’s deportation level has been dropping in recent years. In fiscal year 2015, ICE removed 235,413 foreign nationals a 43 percent decline compared to FY 2012. ICE also removed nearly 41 fewer criminal aliens in FY 2015 compared to FY 2012.
Included in ICE’s arrests last week were:
-A 30-year-old Indian national with prior convictions for corruption of minors. He was arrested in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, and remains in ICE custody pending a hearing before a federal immigration judge.
-A 39-year-old Jamaican national with prior convictions for possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance. He was arrested May 6 at Philadelphia residence after being released from local custody and remains in ICE custody pending a hearing before a federal immigration judge.
-A 47-year-old Argentinian national with prior convictions for child pornography. He was arrested in Philadelphia and remains in ICE custody pending a hearing before a federal immigration judge.
-A 37-year-old Guatemalan national with prior convictions for corruption of a minor and indecent assault and is a registered sex offender. He was arrested in Philadelphia and remains in ICE custody pending a hearing before a federal immigration judge.