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Feds in Miami arrest 18 criminal foreign nationals, target for removal

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Miami-based agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, working with Border Patrol agents, arrested 18 criminal foreign nationals who they say pose a danger to their communities.

The four-day operation was conducted from June 26 to June 30 by officials working in ICE ERO Miami Stuart suboffice. The majority arrested are Guatemalan citizens, followed by citizens of Mexico, Honduras, Brazil and Saint Lucia.

“ERO is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that protects citizens throughout Florida by arresting and removing of those who pose a safety threat to our communities,” ERO Miami Field Office Director Garrett Ripa said in a statement.

ICE is required by law established by Congress to arrest foreign nationals who are in the U.S. illegally. Under the current administration, this process was changed to primarily arrest and process for removal the most violent offenders.

Among those arrested, four were already in the system to be processed for removal. They include a 36-year-old Guatemalan woman arrested for hit-and run, child neglect and DUI; a 27-year-old Mexican man arrested for hit and run, battery and DUI; a 44-year-old Mexican man arrested for DUI, property damage, hit and run, and resisting an officer; and a 24-year-old Brazilian man arrested for cocaine possession. Their removal hearings are all pending.

Those who are placed into removal proceedings receive due process and go before federal immigration judges at courts within the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. This process is separate from ICE immigration courts within the Department of Homeland Security. After the judges weigh the merits of each case, ICE ERO officers carry out removal decisions.

In fiscal year 2022, ICE ERO agents arrested 46,396 illegal foreign nationals with criminal histories. In total, they had 198,498 associated charges and convictions, including: 21,531 assault offenses, 8,164 sex and sexual assault offenses, 5,554 weapons offenses, 1,501 homicide-related offenses, and 1,114 kidnapping offenses.

ICE is also urging members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives to contact its tip line at 866-347-2423, (internationally 001-1802-872-6199), or online. Tips may remain anonymous.

ICE prioritizing removing the most dangerous criminal aliens has been consistent policy within the agency regardless of the presidential administration. More recently, news organizations misreported that a recent Supreme Court ruling would enable the agency to prioritize removals of the most dangerous offenders. However, the ruling allowed a new Biden administration policy to stand by default, arguing the states that sued over it didn’t have standing. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ September 2021 final memorandum, “Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law,” drastically altered deportation policies, including limiting issuing detainer requests for dangerous criminal aliens. The policy also thwarted federal immigration law established by Congress stating that illegal entry is a crime in itself and a deportable offense.

The new policy, in contradiction to federal law, states: “The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen therefore should not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them. We will use our discretion and focus our enforcement resources in a more targeted way. Justice and our country’s well-being require it.”

Texas and Louisiana sued, asking the court to halt the policy, and lost.

As a result of new policies administered by the Biden administration, the greatest number of illegal entries in U.S. history have been reported at both the northern and southern borders. In the first fiscal year of the Biden administration, deportations dropped by two-thirds, according to CBP data. In fiscal 2021, deportations dropped to the lowest level since fiscal 1996 despite record-high illegal entries.

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