On June 14, Assistant Secretary for ICE Julie Myers announced that ICE agents had apprehended 2,179 immigrants in a nationwide sweep between May 26 and June 13. Virtually every ICE field office in the US took part in “Operation Return to Sender,” in collaboration with state and local law enforcement agencies. About half of the arrested immigrants had prior criminal records, and 367 were described by ICE as “members or associates of violent street gangs” (presumably without criminal records). Another 640 of the arrested immigrants were “fugitives” who had ignored final orders of removal issued by an immigration judge. The remaining arrestees were immigration status violators picked up during the raids. Most were arrested on administrative immigration violations and were placed in removal proceedings; ICE said on June 14 that 829 of them had already been removed. ICE agents also arrested 121 people on federal criminal charges ranging from felony re-entry after deportation to “illegal alien in possession of a firearm.” (ICE News Release, June 14)
“It looks like they [ICE officials] are just trying to get numbers for statistics to report back to Washington,” said David Wenger, a Detroit immigration attorney, about the raids in the Detroit area. (Detroit Free Press, June 8)
From Immigration News Briefs, June 18
See our last post on the immigration crackdown.