Jamaican among 41 arrested in USA 'targeted enforcement operations'
Feb 16 2017 by Alex Thomas
"This enforcement operation was conducted in accordance with routine, daily targeted operations conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) fugitive operations teams every day to arrest criminal aliens and other individuals who are in violation of our nation's immigration laws", ICE said in a statement.
US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Monday that out of the more than 680 people arrested, around 75 percent have criminal records, ranging from homicide to drunk driving. Five days after taking office, he signed a sweeping executive order that made clear that just about any immigrant living in the country illegally could be a priority for deportation, particularly those with outstanding deportation orders.
While Obama's actions were more focused, critics say, the executive order Donald Trump signed his first week will expand that focus to include almost all undocumented immigrants, including those only suspected of a safety threat or crime.
The Department of Homeland Security did not specify how numerous convictions were for the most serious crimes, like homicide and sexual assault; in regional fact sheets, ICE provided more detailed information on only 15 arrested individuals.
"People are terrified to go to work, to drop off their kids for schools, and to go to grocery stores", said Charlotte immigration attorney Tin Thanh Nguyen. Sixteen of the 28 had criminal convictions.
Further, 29 of those arrested in Georgia and the Carolinas had reentered the country after being removed.
He has pledged to deport up to three million criminals, but for the moment it is still unclear what Mr Trump's administration defines as criminal.
During a press conference Friday afternoon, Chief Manley elaborated and said that ICE has full jurisdiction over Austin and is not required to inform APD of their operations.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said they targeted known criminals and arrested hundreds of illegal immigrants in what they called an "enforcement surge" that began February 6 and took place in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and the Carolinas.
Immigrant rights advocates said the operations, which they describe as raids, were not business as usual, and were more sweeping than operations conducted during the administration of former Democratic President Barack Obama.
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The arrests have set immigrants on edge. After identifying everyone in the vehicle, she said, ICE agents detained all of them.
"We want them to be ready", she says. ICE officers arrested him after failing to find someone else they were seeking in the same community, Berrigan added. "Nobody wants to leave the house or answer the door".
Immigration officials last week said that the most recent raids had been planned weeks in advance and were not tied to change in policy.
However, Clare says the operations by ICE agents have caused heightened concerns in largely Jamaican and Caribbean communities.
ICE officials repeated statements made over the weekend that this was a focused effort-similar to operations carried out past year where more than 2,000 criminal aliens were arrested during Operation Cross Check.
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That person will have an initial hearing in federal court this week, ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls said.