ICE arrests 138 sex offenders who entered the US illegally

REUTERS/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Courtesy Charles Reed)
REUTERS/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Courtesy Charles Reed)

The U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement agency apprehended 138 sex offenders who entered the country illegally as part of a recent nationwide operation.

ICE said Thursday the arrests were part of an effort by the agency’s Enforcement and Removal Operations that ran from Oct. 22–Nov. 4.

Those arrested during the operation included people who had an executable final order of removal from the United States, according to ICE.

ERO Executive Associate Director Corey A. Price said in a statement included in the announcement that ERO officers “will continue efforts such as these to remove unlawfully present individuals who have committed crimes against the innocent so they cannot continue to harm vulnerable populations within our communities.”

“Crimes of sexual violence are among the most underreported in the United States — anyone can be a victim of this type of abuse, and our officers are dedicated to locating and apprehending known noncitizen offenders as part of their public safety mission,” Price stated.

ICE listed some unnamed individuals among the 138, noting that while some had been convicted of sex crimes earlier this year, others had been convicted of offenses years ago.

One individual, described as a “42-year-old citizen of Bolivia in Levittown, New York,” was found guilty of first-degree rape by the Nassau County Court back in April 2002.

Another, identified as a “49-year-old citizen of Guatemala in Chicago,” was found guilty of predatory criminal sexual assault of a minor by the Cook County Circuit Court in October 2017.

The most recent example listed in the announcement was that of a “50-year-old citizen of Mexico in Winnie, Texas,” who was convicted by the Chambers County District Attorney’s Office of “sexual performance by child” in August.

“All those in violation of immigration law may be subject to arrest, detention and — if found removable by final order — removed from the United States,” explained ICE.

Spencer Brown, managing editor of the conservative news publication, wrote in a piece on Friday that he saw the ICE announcement as further evidence that there needed to be better enforcement of immigration laws.

“The fact that being a duly convicted sex offender while in the United States illegally does not earn these individuals an expedited and immediate one-way trip out of the country is inexplicable,” wrote Brown.

“President Biden and others in his administration continue to claim that the U.S.-Mexico border is secure and there is no crisis — but operations like ICE's latest that find more than 130 sex criminals in the country illegally prove that dangerous individuals continue to endanger communities across our country.”

Others, among them Silky Shah of the Detention Watch Network, have argued that ICE needs to be abolished, citing examples of abuse and misconduct at their detention facilities.

“Congressional and internal oversight has failed to stop the inhumane treatment of people in ICE detention. In fact, Congress’s own report from September reveals that few enforcement mechanisms exist to improve the conditions in detention centers, even after investigations,” argued Shah in a 2020 op-ed for left-leaning NBC News.

“To truly end these abuses, Congress must defund ICE as a step toward abolishing the agency in its entirety. State and local lawmakers must terminate ICE contracts. The nation’s attention may have moved on, but the crisis remains. And no one is safe in immigration detention.”

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