Roundup of Criminal Aliens Finds Rapists, Kidnappers and Thieves
by Jim Kouri, CPP
Federal law enforcement officers arrested 35 fugitive aliens and other immigration violators in a weeklong operation in Massachusetts. The enforcement action is the latest under Operation Secure Streets, a national initiative targeting illegal aliens with prior convictions for driving under the influence.
Of those arrested, 25 are fugitives who had outstanding warrants of removal. Another nine individuals were apprehended because they are in the United States illegally. One of the subjects is being processed for re-entering the country after deportation. Nineteen of the 35 subjects arrested have criminal records.
During the operation, which began on Tuesday and concluded Friday, ICE officers targeted fugitive aliens, individuals who have been ordered removed by immigration judges but have failed to comply with those orders. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers also sought other immigration violators who have criminal histories of operating under the influence. This operation was created to address local public safety issues resulting from drivers operating under the influence.
The criminal histories of those arrested include various operating under the influence offenses, as well as numerous other crimes such as rape, kidnapping, assault and battery, weapons charges, domestic violence, larceny, and resisting arrest.
Those arrested during the operation come from 10 different countries, including: Bangladesh, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Lebanon, Nicaragua, and Nigeria.
“This operation directly reflects the importance of ICE's public safety mission,” said Bruce Chadbourne, field office director for ICE's Office of Detention and Removal Operations in Boston.
“ICE is identifying and arresting those who pose a very real threat to public safety on our roads and highways. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to take those criminal illegal aliens who have no legal right to remain here out of our communities and off our streets,” he said.
Of the 35 arrested, all remain in custody. Thirty-one are awaiting removal from the United States or the outcome of their immigration hearings. Four are currently in state custody and have immigration detainers lodged on them. They are being held at various state and county facilities throughout Mass.
The Massachusetts operation is part of the nationwide interior enforcement strategy announced earlier this year by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers, who heads ICE.
"A critical element of that strategy is to identify, locate, and remove criminal aliens, fugitives, and other immigration violators from the United States," said Secretary Myers during a press conference.
The interior enforcement strategy is part of the Department of Homeland Security's broader Secure Border Initiative (SBI), a multi-year plan to secure America's borders and reduce illegal migration. Those efforts are focused on gaining operational control of the nation's borders through the deployment of additional personnel and technology, while re-engineering the detention and removal system to ensure that illegal aliens are removed from the country quickly.
ICE removed 186,600 aliens from the United States in fiscal year 2006, as compared to 168,906 in fiscal year 2005.
Agencies that participated in this operation are members of ICE's New England Joint Fugitive Task Force.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.