Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the arrest of 2,059 convicted criminals, all criminal aliens, during a nationwide operation. “Operation Cross Check” was led by the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) group.
“This nationwide operation led to the apprehension of more than 2,000 convicted criminal aliens who pose the greatest risk to our public safety,” said Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas in a press release obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Today, communities around the country are safer because of the great work of the men and women of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
The operation began on Sunday, March 1, and ran through Thursday, March 5. The criminal aliens arrested were from 94 different countries and included people convicted of a wide variety of crimes. 1,000 of those captured had multiple convictions.
1,000 of the captured criminal aliens were targeted because they had felony convictions. Those range from voluntary manslaughter, child pornography, robbery, kidnapping and rape. Fifty-eight of those captured were known gang members, while eighty-nine were convicted sex offenders.
ICE officials announced that the vast majority of the aliens captured with misdemeanor convictions included charges of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. ICE considers DUI offenders, especially those who are repeat offenders to be particularly dangerous as a public safety threat.
“This national operation exemplifies ICE’s ongoing commitment to prioritizing convicted criminals and public safety threats for apprehension and removal,” said ICE Director Sarah R. Saldaña. “By taking these individuals off our streets and removing them from the country, we are making our communities safer for everyone.”
Previously deported criminal aliens made up 476 of the 2,059 who were rounded up. 163 of these were turned over to the U.S. Attorneys for prosecution on a variety of charges. Those include illegal re-entry after deportation. This is a felony that is punishable by up to twenty years in prison.
Breitbart Texas’ Lana Shadwick previously reported on one such repeatedly deported criminal illegal alien who shot and killed Spencer Golvach who was simply sitting at a traffic light in Houston. The illegal alien was on a shooting rampage that killed one other person. He shot at two other people and was eventually spotted by a Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy who killed the illegal alien after he pointed his gun at the deputy. Dan Golvach, the father of the illegal alien’s first victim told Shadwick, “My son is dead because the concept of borders is dead,” in an exclusive interview.
Some examples of those arrested in Operation Cross Check include:
- A Jamaican citizen arrested in Atlanta, Georgia, who was convicted in 2014 of breaking and entering, larceny, speeding to elude arrest and assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer.
- A Polish citizen arrested in East Hartford, Connecticut, who was convicted twice for possession of cocaine and other drugs, twice for probation violation and resisting arrest and once for reckless driving.
- A Finnish citizen arrested in Naperville, Illinois, who was convicted in 2014 of child pornography involving a victim under 13 years old.
- A Mexican citizen arrested in Arvada, Colorado, who is a documented member of the Sureños criminal street gang and was convicted in 2014 of possession of a weapon.
Two targets of this operation who were not apprehended were added to ICE’s most wanted fugitives list.
The targets of this operation fell into priority removals as defined by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in a Nov. 20 memorandum that was previously reported on by Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby. The documents outline three categories that illegal immigrants are now grouped into: Priority one, two, and three. Priority one includes aliens who “pose a threat to national security, border security, or public safety.” Priority two includes aliens who are “misdemeanants and new immigration violators.” Priority three includes all other illegal aliens and describes them as “other immigration violators.”
ICE officials said those captured in Operation Cross Check fell into priorities one and two.
In 2011, ICE began conducting these types of raids to capture criminal aliens and either charge them with additional crimes or arrange for deportation. Since May, 2011, a total of 13,214 criminal aliens have been arrested. This is the sixth national Cross Check operation. The largest arrest number in a single operation was in 2011 when 2,442 convicted criminals were rounded up.
During FY 2014, 315,943 individuals were removed from the United States because of the ERO operations. Priority removal operations are seeking out people who are “considered threats to national security, those attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, gang members, felons, and individuals convicted of crimes including domestic violence, sexual abuse, drug distribution or driving under the influence.
This article has been updated with additional information.