A group of criminal aliens showed up to a Tarrant County, Texas, work release program and were surprised they were getting arrested instead of getting a job. When they arrived at the county facility, immigration officers took the allegedly undocumented criminal immigrants into custody.
Two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement vans arrived at the Tarrant County probation office Sunday morning; witnesses told KGNS NBC8. The immigration officers took custody of a group of illegal aliens who came to the facility to participate in a work release program run by the county.
Dallas area media outlets downplayed the criminal status of what they called “unauthorized immigrants” and played on their coming to perform “community service.”
Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn told KXAS NBC5 his office participated in the operation following a request from immigration officials. The sheriff previously vowed to help President Donald Trump keep his word on deporting criminal aliens, Breitbart Texas reported in February. He announced his office applied for the ICE 287(g) program to help deputies identify criminal aliens in the jail. The program will certify 12 deputies to work in the jail as immigration officers.
“This was totally initiated by ICE,” the sheriff told the NBC affiliate. “They came to us and said, ‘Listen, we reviewed the list [of names], and we suspect some of them are illegal aliens.’ So we said, ‘Whatever you need to do.'”
The Dallas Morning News reported ICE officers picked up 26 “unauthorized immigrants” when they arrived to perform “community service.”
The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office told KXAS the criminal aliens had convictions for felonies and misdemeanors. Those include offenses of drunk driving, theft, and assault, Sheriff Waybourn explained to the reporter.
A KXAS cameraman recorded some of the activity while ICE officers took the criminal aliens into custody. In addition to being frisked by ICE officers, they placed at least one of the criminals in shackles
One of the parolees, Hector Rivera, told the NBC reporter, “I turn back around again and I saw the big coach bus and I said ‘dude that’s ICE’.”
“They were really nervous, ‘oh my God,’ ‘oh my kid’ and everything,” Rivera continued. “Some were saying ‘oh we got to run’.”
ICE officials declined to comment specifically on the operation. North Texas ICE spokesman issued a statement in which he wrote, “ICE officers are conducting ongoing immigration enforcement operations in North Texas. No further details are available until the conclusion of this operation. ICE routinely conducts immigration enforcement operations locally and nationwide which help improve overall public safety by removing criminal aliens from our communities.”
An immigration attorney told the local NBC affiliate that some of the people will “probably find relief in the immigration court.” He admitted others might face deportation for their crimes.