114 arrested in immigration sweep in PA

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Fugitive Operations officers make an arrest during a five-day expanded enforcement operation targeting at-large criminal aliens illegal re-entrants and immigration fugitives

According to ICE, the operation targeted criminals, fugitives, people who had illegally re-entered the country and other immigration violators in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware.

"Additionally, earlier this month, ICE detailed the results of its six-week nationwide gang apprehension operation, which resulted in the arrest of 384 illegal immigrants, as well as 61 foreign nationals voluntarily admitted into the country".

"Of those arrested during the operation ..."

According to the White House, almost 90 percent of the aliens had prior criminal convictions that included domestic violence, battery, sex crimes, manslaughter, assault, arson, and cruelty to a child. A convicted rapist and previously deported cocaine trafficker were among those arrested in that region, according to ICE. Forty-three of the arrested individuals had drug offense convictions, and another 30 had been convicted for driving under the influence.

Jennifer Ritchey, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Field Office director, said some of those taken into custody for immigration violations were "dangerous individuals (who) had been released to the streets instead of being turned over to ICE".

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All three had active immigration detainers at the time they were in the custody of the Philadelphia Police Department, Ritchey said, but were released instead of being held for ICE. They are mostly men, and the majority, 146 people, are from Mexico, while others came from El Salvador, Guatemala, Armenia, Honduras, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Cambodia and the Philippines, according to ICE. From Trump's inauguration January 20 through April 29, ICE arrested more than 41,800 people across the country who are known or suspected of being in the country illegally, up 35 percent from the same period in 2016. "This administration has made clear we are a nation of immigrants but we are also a nation of laws".

A U.S. law enforcement source in Mexico said U.S. Marshals were involved in their arrest.

Eight of the 10 arrested had previously been deported, one had an outstanding order of removal and one individual wasn't known to the Department of Homeland Security. The crackdown took place in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The numbers, according to ICE, represent a 20% increase over the same period past year.

"This is part of their, I think, public relations strategy to say they're going after people with certain convictions, but of course it doesn't tell the whole story of who these people are and the harm that is brought by targeting them and whether it's really a sound choice", said Pasquarella.

"The same data shows that numerous non-sanctuary jurisdictions saw a higher increase in ICE arrests under Trump policies than did areas with major sanctuaries".

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