More ICE “fugitive” raids in Midwest

Over a five-day period ending June 24, ICE Fugitive Operations Teams carried out a series of coordinated sweeps through southeast Wisconsin, the Chicago metropolitan area, southwestern Kansas and central Nebraska, arresting a total of 158 people, of whom fewer than 90 were “fugitives” who have failed to comply with deportation orders.

In Wisconsin, ICE arrested 38 people in Milwaukee, Kenosha and Racine counties, describing 16 of them as “fugitives” and 22 as “immigration violators encountered by ICE officers during their targeted arrests.” Those arrested are from Albania, China, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Ukraine and Yugoslavia. (ICE news release, June 25) In its Chicago press release, ICE gave the total number arrested in the Wisconsin sweeps as 32.

In Chicago, Highland Park, Waukegan, Highwood, and elsewhere in the Chicago metropolitan area, ICE arrested 43 immigrants from Albania, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Jordan, Mexico, Poland and Yugoslavia. ICE described 25 of those arrested as fugitives and 18 as immigration violators; 20 reportedly had prior criminal convictions. (ICE news release, June 25)

In southwestern Kansas, ICE arrested 33 people in Garden City and 15 in Dodge City. Those arrested included five women and came from El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Vietnam. ICE reported that 33 of the 48 people arrested had criminal convictions, but did not say how many were considered “fugitives.” (Calculations based on conflicting figures in ICE’s Garden City and Chicago press releases suggest that somewhere between 14 and 20 of the 48 people arrested in Kansas were considered “fugitives” while 28 to 34 of the total were immigration violators.) ICE spokesperson Carl Rusnok said most of the immigrants were arrested at their homes, but a few were arrested at work. He did not know whether any of the arrests occurred at the area’s beef-packing plants. (ICE news release, June 25; Dodge Globe, June 27)

Garden City and Dodge City both have major meatpacking plants which employ large numbers of immigrants. During nationwide mobilizations for immigrant rights on April 10, 2006, some 3,000-4,000 people marched in Garden City, a town with an estimated population of 28,000, while 2,000 marched in Dodge City, population 26,000. See INB, June 16, 2006)

The raids were supervised out of the ICE office in Chicago, which oversees operations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri and Kentucky. (ICE news release, June 25)

In central Nebraska, ICE arrested 44 immigrants from Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and El Salvador. Most were arrested in Lexington (25 arrests) and Grand Island (12 arrests); two people were arrested in Broken Bow and one person was arrested in each of the following towns: Cozad, Gibbon, Hastings, Kearney and North Platte. Of the total, 28 were considered “fugitives” and 16 were described as immigration violators; 10 had criminal convictions. The Nebraska raids were coordinated out of the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations in Bloomington, Minnesota, which oversees operations in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota. (ICE news release, June 25)

From Immigration News Briefs, June 29

See our last post on the politics of immigration.