NEW YORK, United States (CMC) — The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency says it has arrested a number of Caribbean nationals in a three-day immigration sweep.
ICE said that the unidentified Caribbean nationals were among 31 foreigners arrested during the operation “targeting at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants and immigration fugitives.”
ICE said the immigrants will be deported either after serving jail sentences or after an immigration judge hearing.
The authorities said that two are from Trinidad and Tobago, two Haitians and a Guyanese were among the 29 men and two women nabbed during the operations with the others coming from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala; Honduras; El Salvador; Korea; Pakistan; Indonesia; Nepal and Colombia.
ICE said of the people arrested, 30 had criminal histories, including prior convictions for sex crimes, drug offenses and fraud. The other has a pending dangerous drug charge and a final order of removal.
ICE said the operation “targeted criminal aliens who pose a public safety threat and individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who re-entered the country after being deported and immigration fugitives ordered deported by federal immigration judges.”
Some of the individuals arrested during the enforcement action will be presented for US federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, ICE said.
“Law enforcement operations like this should reassure the public that ICE is committed to putting public safety first,” said Thomas Decker, field office director for ERO New York.
“Those who come to the United States to prey upon our neighbours and communities will be prosecuted for their crimes and ultimately returned to their home countries,” he added.
The stepped-up arrests and deportation come as a number of New York City officials and immigration advocates have reported that they are seeing and hearing about an increasing number of ICE agents in courtroom, waiting to deport immigrants who might have fallen afoul of the law.
Earlier this week, Acting Brooklyn District Attorney, Eric Gonzalez, expressed concern about heightened efforts by the Trump administration to deport Caribbean and other immigrants.