HOUSTON, Texas — Federal officers arrested 45 illegal immigrants in the Houston area during a five-day operation. Forty-two had previous criminal convictions and 15 were previously deported.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers carried out a five-day operation in the Houston area that targeted “at-large criminal aliens” and those with previous deportations. During the operation, ERO officers arrested 45 illegal immigrants, according to ICE.
“Our primary focus with conducting targeted immigration enforcement operations is to improve public safety by removing criminal aliens from our local communities,” ERO Houston Field Office Director Pat Contreras said in a written statement. “The dedicated immigration enforcement officers who conducted the operation did just that by taking 42 dangerous criminal aliens off the streets.”
ICE stated that 15 of those arrested were previously been deported. Forty-two had criminal histories which included convictions for “serious or violent crimes.” Those convictions include rape, child exploitation, robbery, drug trafficking, and assault.
Officials provided examples of those arrested:
- In Houston, a 29-year-old Turkish national convicted of child exploitation;
- In Houston, a previously removed 43-year-old Honduran convicted of rape;
- In Houston, a 44-year-old Cuban convicted of burglary; and
- In Tomball, a twice-removed 46-year-old Mexican national convicted of burglary and drug trafficking.
Officers made the arrests in the following cities in the Houston Metropolitan Area: Houston (26), Conroe (9), Cleveland (2), Alvin (1), Tomball (1), the Woodlands (1), Texas City (1), Channelview (1), Clearlake (1), Baytown (1), and Bellville (1). The illegal immigrants came to the U.S. from: Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina, Cuba, Nigeria, India, Chile, and Turkey.
Some of those arrested could now face new federal felony charges for illegal re-entry after removal as a convicted felon. They could face up to 20 years in prison. Those without previous removals could also face criminal prosecution for immigration violations and will be processed for removal.
“To make our communities safer, ICE deportation officers carry out targeted enforcement operations every day in locations around the country as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to uphold public safety and protect the integrity of our nation’s immigration laws,” ICE officials concluded.