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ICE Agents Nab Suspected War Criminals In Nationwide Sweep

Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Handout via REUTERS

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the apprehension of 39 aliens living in the U.S. who are wanted for war crimes and other heinous human rights violations around the world.

ICE agents apprehended 30 men and nine women suspected of committing atrocities in their countries of origin in a nationwide operation known as “No Safe Haven V,” according to an agency press release Thursday. The ICE National Fugitive Operations Program spearheaded the operation, which took place between Aug. 27 and 29.

“ICE will not allow war criminals and human rights abusers to use the U.S. as a safe haven,” acting ICE Director Matthew Albence said in a statement. “We will never stop looking for them and we will never cease seeking justice for the victims of their crimes.”

Among those arrested in No Safe Haven V were: 14 aliens from Central America involved in human rights abuses against civilians, including the arrest or transport of people who were beaten, electrocuted and killed; four “known or suspected” human rights abusers involved in forced abortions and sterilization in China; four aliens from West Africa connected to “civilian massacres, mutilations” and extrajudicial killings; and one European wanted for human rights abuses against political adversaries.

The agency made clear the arrests showcase to human rights abusers that they cannot escape their crimes by seeking refuge in the U.S.

Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Immigration at the Capitol Hill in Washington

Witness Matthew Albence, executive associate director Enforcement And Removal Operations U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled “Oversight of Immigration Enforcement and Family Reunification Efforts” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Allison Shelley

Crimes these aliens allegedly committed did not stop once they entered U.S. territory. Of the 39 who authorities arrested during No Save Haven, 16 were convicted of crimes within the county, including robbery, theft, domestic violence, fraud, reckless endangerment, drug distribution and other crimes. The foreign nationals who authorities apprehended come from a range of countries, including Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Nicaragua, Chile, Haiti, Jamaica, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Liberia, Chad, the Ivory Coast, China and Cambodia.

“The foreign nationals arrested during this operation all have outstanding removal orders and are subject to repatriation to their countries of origin,” the ICE press release noted.

The arrests in late August mark the latest success for ICE and its Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center.

ICE has apprehended more than 415 individuals for human rights-related abuses and deported over 990 known or suspected human rights abusers from the country since 2003. Catching human rights violators living in the U.S. never ends for ICE agents. The agency is currently pursuing over “170 active investigations into suspected human rights violators” and is looking into more than 1,600 leads involving suspects from nearly 100 different countries. (RELATED: Trump Using Military Funds To Build 175 Miles Of Border Wall)

There is a growing contingent among members of the Democratic Party to abolish ICE altogether despite its success at nabbing foreign national accused of killing and torturing innocent civilians. For example, Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York — members of progressive faction within the House Democratic Caucus known as “the squad” — have both publicly come out in support of abolishing the agency.

Congressional Democrats have also opposed additional funding to ICE facilities as it continues to manage the immigration crisis at the southern border.

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