New Jersey, United States (CMC) — The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) agency says a number of Caribbean nationals have been arrested among 69 convicted criminals during a three-day “targeted enforcement effort” in New Jersey.
ICE said officers from its Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested the immigrants in a sweep of major New Jersey cities, such as Lakewood, Jersey City, Newark, Trenton, Cherry Hill, Paterson, Secaucus and Elizabeth.
Without identifying them, ICE said the arrestees were from the Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
The other nationalities were Afghanistan, Albania, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, South Korea, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia, United Kingdom and Uruguay.
Of the 69 taken into custody by ERO, ICE said 51 met the agency’ highest priority level due to felony convictions or participation in a criminal street gang.
An additional 18 arrestees met the second level of priorities for enforcement due to serious or multiple misdemeanor convictions, ICE said.
It said many of the criminals taken into custody had prior convictions for serious or violent offenses, including child sexual assault, child abuse, aggravated assault, battery, driving under the influence (DUI), weapons and “significant drug possession or distribution convictions.
“The results of this targeted enforcement operation underscore ICE’s ongoing commitment to public safety and the enforcement of priorities set by DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Secretary Jeh Johnson in November 2014,” said John Tsoukaris, field office director of ERO Newark, New Jersey.
“When we focus on the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens we contribute immediately to making our communities safer. Because of the tireless efforts and teamwork of ICE officers, along with our law enforcement partners, there are 69 fewer criminal aliens in our neighborhoods.”
ICE said all 69 were “arrested administratively for being in violation of immigration law,” adding that all are being held in ICE custody pending immigration removal proceedings or removal from the United States.
Some of those arrested during this operation included a Dominican Republic man convicted of attempted criminal sexual contact of a minor; another Dominican Republic man convicted of aggravated assault and promoting prostitution; and a Haitian man convicted of felony burglary, felony theft, and two felony drug convictions.
In fiscal year 2014, ICE said it conducted 315,943 deportations nationwide. It said 85 per cent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.