U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 498 individuals from 42 countries for federal immigration violations in multiple cities across the U.S. during a four-day operation that ended Wednesday.
Authorities said the swoop that was dubbed Operation ‘Safe City’, majorly focused on cities where ICE detainers are not honored like is the case in Massachusetts, or where ICE deportation officers are denied access to jails and prisons to interview suspected immigration violators.
The operation targeted immigrants who have violated U.S. immigration laws, prioritizing on those with criminal convictions, pending criminal charges, known gang members and affiliates, immigration fugitives and those who re-entered the country after deportation. Individuals with active DACA were not targeted for arrest.
Immigrants who have active DACA were not targeted for arrest according to ICE report.
“ICE’s goal is to build cooperative, respectful relationships with our law enforcement partners to help prevent dangerous criminal aliens from being released back onto the streets. Non-cooperation policies severely undermine that effort at the expense of public safety,” he said.
Operation Safe City arrests took place in Baltimore (28), Cook County, Illinois (30), Denver (63), Los Angeles (101), New York (45), Philadelphia (107), Portland, Ore. (33), Santa Clara County, Calif (27); and Washington, D.C. (14) and the state of Massachusetts (50).
Of the 498 individuals taken into custody during this operation for immigration violations, 317 had criminal convictions including driving under the influence, battery, marijuana possession, identity theft, bribery, domestic violence, assault, theft, privacy invasion, sex offenses, prostitution, fraud, cruelty toward wife or child and more. 68 are immigration fugitives, 104 are previously deported criminal aliens, and 18 are gang members or affiliates.
Earlier this week in a separate operation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection set a temporary immigration checkpoint base in New Hampshire on I-93 south, stopping all motorists for interrogation.
The Trump administration has continued to enforce new and old immigration rules, but according to statistics, the number of deportations under Trump is lagging behind that of slowest years of Obama’s presidency.
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE officials deported 84,473 people from Feb. 1 to June 30, — a rate of roughly 16,900 people per month. If deportations continue at the same rate until the fiscal year ends Sept. 30, federal immigration officials will have deported fewer people than during even the slowest years of Barack Obama’s presidency.