Making Immigration Happen
Chicago Woman Arrested for Selling Fraudulent Identity Documents to Illegal Aliens
A woman was arrested Wednesday, February 13, 2013, on charges she allegedly sold fraudulent identity documents to illegal aliens. These charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigra

Tag Archives: illegal immigrants

80 Criminal Aliens Arrested During Target Operation

During a three-day targeted enforcement operation in Georgia and the Carolinas, officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 80 convicted criminal aliens.

Operation Cross Check commenced Monday, May 7, and concluded Wednesday, May 9. All 80 taken into custody had prior criminal convictions. Many of the criminal aliens
taken into custody had prior convictions for serious or violent offenses including: aggravated assault; indecent liberties with a minor; family violence; sexual battery of a minor; possession of cocaine; possession of marijuana with intent to distribute; and weapon used in the commission of a crime.

“The results of this targeted enforcement operation underscore ICE’s ongoing  commitment to public safety,” said Felicia Skinner, Field Office Director of ERO 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.”

Of those arrested, 20 were immigration fugitives, 14 re-entered the United States after a previous deportation and 46 were at-large criminals. The arrested aliens came from Mexico, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. ERO arrested 33 in Georgia, 15 in South Carolina and 32 in North 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.

Some of those arrested during this operation include:

  • A national of the Dominican Republic, who was convicted of multiple drug possession and trafficking crimes in New  York, deported and then illegally re-entered the United States.
  • A national of Mexico, who was convicted of the following crimes: possession and distribution of marijuana; and use of a weapon in commission of a crime.

This enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE’s National Criminal Alien Program,  which is responsible for locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens. The officers who conducted the operation received substantial assistance from ICE’s Law Enforcement Support Center located in Williston, Vt.

ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security. ICE also prioritizes the arrest and removal of those who game the immigration system including immigration fugitives or those criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.

Largely as a result of these initiatives, for three years in a row, ICE has removed more aliens than were removed in fiscal year (FY) 2008. Overall, in FY 2011 ICE removed 396,906 individuals nationwide – the largest number in the agency’s history. Of these, nearly 55 percent or 216,698 of the people removed were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors – an 89 percent increase in the removal of criminals since FY 2008. This includes 1,119 aliens convicted of homicide; 5,848 aliens convicted of sexual offenses; 44,653 aliens convicted of drug related crimes; and 35,927 aliens convicted of driving under the influence. ICE achieved similar results with regard to other categories prioritized for removal. Ninety percent of all ICE’s removals fell into a priority category and more than two-thirds of the other removals in 2011 were either recent border
crossers or repeat immigration violators.

Mississippi Managers Arrested for Illegal Employment Scheme

The owner and three managers of three local restaurants are facing federal charges related to the conspiracy to knowingly employ illegal aliens and to harbor them from authorities following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Federal special agents arrested the owner and three managers via criminal complaint and served search warrants Thursday, February 23, at two restaurants in Picayune, Miss., and one restaurant in Poplarville, Miss. Special agents also criminally arrested two Mexican citizens for re-entering the United States after deportation, which is a federal felony. A total of 16 illegal alien males working illegally at the three restaurants were taken into custody and processed for deportation proceedings.

“With HSI’s aggressive approach to worksite enforcement investigations, business owners are taking a big gamble when they seek to enhance their profits by breaking the law,” said Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., special agent in charge of HSI New Orleans. “Our special agents will continue to work closely with our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office to investigate and prosecute these crimes.” Parmer is responsible for HSI operations in the states of Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama.

Owner Jose Gutierrez, 36, and employees Vicente Jimenez, 39, Juan Barajas, 58, and
Evaristo Jimenez, 38, have all made their initial appearances in federal court. They are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi.

Criminal investigations are just one of many tools HSI is using to reduce the demand for
illegal employment and protect job opportunities for the nation’s lawful workforce. That enforcement strategy also includes the expanded use of civil penalties, employer audits and debarment. In fiscal year 2011, HSI initiated audits involving 2,496 employers nationwide – surpassing the record number conducted in all of fiscal year 2010. During that same time frame, HSI issued 385 final fine notices totaling more than $10 million to employers across the country, again surpassing the record fine total in fiscal year 2010.

A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal
activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Attorney Alex Meyerovich Speaks Out Against ICE Secure Communities Program

By: Mallory Huron

Bridgeport,CT– Local attorney Alex Meyerovich spoke out recently against the federal Secure Communities program, which went into effect statewide in Connecticut on February 22.

Secure Communities, launched in 2008, is a federal program that combines the resources of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and local law enforcement.

Through the program, any set of fingerprints taken by local law enforcement will automatically be sent first to the FBI for a criminal background check, and next to the ICE database for an immigration status check. If there is a match to a criminal record, and/or ICE records show that the individual is in the U.S. illegally, or “otherwise removable,” the individual will be detained and subject to deportation proceedings.

As of October 2011, the program cites over 110,000 removals of immigrants convicted of crimes, which includes 39,500 removals of immigrants convicted of aggravated felony offenses such as murder, rape, and child sex abuse. The program is set to be in effect nationwide by 2013.

However, although the program is designed to target immigrants convicted of serious and often violent crimes, some claim that it will have possible detrimental side effects.

M.C. Law Group immigration attorney Alex Meyerovich, who opposes the program, discussed the potential pitfalls of Secure Communities on Wednesday, February 22, when the program went into effect across Connecticut.

“For many people, it’s a challenge,” Meyerovich said of the program’s consequences on Wednesday. The program is already proving challenging – and controversial – with many arguing that it could have the problematic consequence of effectively turning local law enforcement into ICE immigration officers.

Secure Communities insists that local law enforcement officers are not given any additional responsibilities under the program, nor are they instructed or authorized to enforce federal immigration law. However, concerns about possible misuse of power linger, as well concerns over the larger impact for local communities.

“This program will probably do more damage to the communities than good,” said Meyerovich. “It creates a disincentive for immigrants to call the police, ever.”

This disincentive, Meyerovich argues, could pose a serious threat to community safety. Immigrants may begin to fear any interaction with local law enforcement, and may avoid reporting anything from car accidents to domestic violence disputes for fear of potential deportation. He maintains that if any resident, whether they reside in the U.S. legally or illegally, is dissuaded from alerting the police about matters of public and personal safety, then Secure Communities will actually be creating insecure and unsafe communities.

Watch the full News12 Connecticut interview with Attorney Meyerovich below.