By Jim Kouri
During a three-state dragnet in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, federal law enforcement officers arrested 80 convicted criminal aliens on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, according to a Law Enforcement Examiner source in Washington, D.C.
As a result of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Operation Cross Check, the 80 illegal aliens -some of whom were gang members — had prior criminal convictions, and a large number of the criminal aliens taken into custody had prior convictions for serious or violent offenses including aggravated assault, sex crimes with minors, family violence, sexual battery of a minor, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and possession of weapons used in the commission of crimes.
“The results of this targeted enforcement operation underscore ICE’s ongoing commitment to public safety,” said Felicia Skinner, Field Office Director of Enforcement and Removal Operations in Atlanta.
“When we focus on the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens we get an immediate payback in our communities. Because of the tireless efforts and teamwork of ICE officers — along with our state and local law enforcement partners — there are 80 fewer criminal aliens in our neighborhoods in Georgia and the Carolinas,” she said.
Of those arrested, 20 were immigration fugitives, 14 re-entered the United States after a previous deportation — which is a felony — and 46 were fugitive criminals. The arrested aliens came from Mexico, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. ERO arrested 33 in Georgia, 32 in North Carolina, and 15 in South Carolina.
All 80 were arrested administratively for being in violation of immigration law, and all are being held in ICE custody pending immigration removal proceedings or removal from the United States, according to a federal law enforcement official.
This enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE’s National Criminal Alien Program, which is responsible for locating, arresting and removing at-large and fugitive criminal aliens.