Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) agents concluded a 10-day operation on Long Island last week with the arrests of dozens of convicted sexual predators from Central and South America, according to a Tuesday statement from ICE.
Operation SOAR (Sex Offender Alien Removal) led to the arrests of 32 foreign nationals with previous criminal sexual convictions – 12 of whom are registered sex offenders.
Thomas R. Decker, field office director for New York, said that operation was about promoting public safety as well as enforcing immigration laws.
“ICE’s continuing commitment to making our communities safer is underscored by operations like this one targeting sexual offenders. These actions focus our resources on the most egregious criminals and promote public safety in the communities in which we live and work,” Decker said. “ERO officers are out there every day enforcing immigration law with targeted enforcement actions. ICE will not waiver in its promise to arrest and remove criminal aliens from our neighborhoods.”
The arrested alien sex offenders include nationals from Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and India.
The criminal histories of those arrested include such acts as assault, first-degree rape, first-degree sexual abuse and burglary.
Those arrested who have either illegally reentered the U.S. or have outstanding orders of deportation are subject to immediate deportation. The remaining sex offenders will face an immigration judge or pending travel arrangements for their removal in the “near future.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions previously announced in April a new push to prosecute illegal aliens, which included hiring 25 immigration judges at detention centers along the U.S.-Mexico border, hiring 50 additional immigration judges in 2017, and 75 additional judges in 2018.