The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency says Caribbean nationals were among a large number of immigrants nabbed in 2016, as the agency “protects America from the cross-border crime and illegal immigration that threaten national security and public safety.
“Our mission is accomplished by the people of ICE working together and by adhering to our values of integrity, courage and excellence,” said the agency in its Year-in-Review report.
In the report, ICE offers a “snapshot” of its Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and Management and Administration’s (M&A) “daily work.”
“As we move confidently into 2017, ICE will continue to strive for excellence in all our efforts,” the report notes.
During a five-week operation in March, dubbed “Project Shadow fire,” ICE said 1,133 immigrants, including Caribbean nationals, were arrested.
ICE said the sweep included more than 900 transnational criminal gang members and others associated with transnational criminal activity, such as drug trafficking, human smuggling and sex trafficking, murder and racketeering.
ICE said nationals from 13 countries in Central America, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean were arrested in “Project Shadow fire.”
It said 1,001 were charged with criminal offenses, and 132 were arrested administratively for immigration violations.
Project Shadow fire was a “surge operation” conducted under Operation Community Shield.
In June, an unidentified Belizean was among 331 individuals arrested during a month long operation targeting criminal immigrants and other immigration violators in six Midwestern states, ICE said.
It said the operation was aimed at arresting and removing convicted criminal immigrants from the US. The arrests were made in the following six states: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Kansas and Missouri.
Two Belizean nationals were also among 100 immigrants arrested in the Los Angeles-area in July.
While the largest number of those taken into custody during the enforcement action were originally from Mexico.
In August, officers from ICE and ERO arrested 58 individuals during an operation spanning the New York metropolitan area, targeting criminal immigrants and “other enforcement priorities.”
During the five-day enforcement action, ERO officers apprehended immigrants with criminal convictions, in addition to others who fall under the agency’s enforcement priorities.
Those arrested had criminal histories with past convictions for rape, kidnapping, robbery, burglary and other serious criminal offenses, ICE said.
The foreign nationals arrested during the operation included citizens of 17countries, including Trinidad and Tobago; Dominican Republic; Belize; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Guyana; Philippines; Jamaica; Indonesia; Guatemala; Ecuador; Mexico; El Salvador; Lebanon; Colombia; Israel; Romania; and the United Kingdom. (CMC)