Agents Nab Illegal Alien DUIs in Federal Operation
by Jim Kouri, CPP
Following public outcry over illegal alien drivers commiting vehicular homicides,
sixty illegal alien criminals, mostly DUI ex-convicts, were arrested in North Carolina by federal agents during a three-day operation, according to a statement released by officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The arrests were part of an ongoing operation, dubbed "Operation Safe Streets," created to safeguard the public by identifying, arresting, and placing in removal proceedings individuals who pose a threat to the community and who have no legal right to remain in the country.
The primary targets of this particular operation were individuals with prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).
“Many of those arrested selfishly and recklessly got behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated, putting their lives and the lives of the public at risk,” said Felicia Skinner, acting field office director for the Office of Detention and Removal in Atlanta.
“By finding and removing these criminals, we are able to greatly enhance public safety, while restoring integrity to our nation's immigration system,” she said.
But some illegal-immigrant rights advocates and others have expressed concern that agents who are involved in the DUI cases -- many of which involve Hispanics -- will exploit a new immigration enforcement program to profile drivers on the basis of race.
The operation yielded 23 arrests of individuals convicted for DUI. The remaining individuals were either fugitives, foreign-born nationals with other criminal convictions, or those deemed to be in violation of immigration laws. Their criminal convictions range from indecency with a child and larceny to domestic violence and assault and battery.
The fugitive criminal aliens were ordered removed by a federal immigration judge, but failed to comply with their lawful orders. Some of the fugitives have been in hiding evading law enforcement for years.
Those arrested represent countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Ecuador and Gambia.
All of those arrested are in ICE custody awaiting the outcome of their cases.
Operation Secure Streets began in April 2006 as a pilot program in Charlotte, NC; a second similar operation was conducted in November. With this third operation concluding, ICE officers have removed more than 200 illegal aliens with criminal backgrounds from the Charlotte area.
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.