More than 70 criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and immigration violators are facing deportation and criminal charges following a four-day enforcement operation spearheaded by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Fugitive Operations Teams (FOTs) in and around Grand Rapids, Mich.
During the operation, which concluded late yesterday, ICE made a total of 77 arrests in Kent, Calhoun, Ottawa, Kalamazoo, Berrien, St. Joseph and Mason counties.
Of those taken into custody, 22 were aliens with prior criminal convictions, six had been previously deported who returned to the United States illegally after being removed, and 35 were immigration fugitives who failed to comply with a final order of deportation issued by an immigration judge.
Their criminal histories included prior arrests and convictions for a variety of violations, including manslaughter, criminal sexual conduct, weapons violations, reentry after deportation, and assault and disorderly conduct among others. Since many of the individuals have outstanding orders of deportation or have been previously deported, they are subject to immediate removal from the country.
The group included 64 males and 13 females from five different countries - Mexico (41), Guatemala (27), Honduras (7), Laos (1), China (1).
Estimates now place the number of immigration fugitives in the United States as slightly under 525,000, a decrease of more than 71,000 since October 2007.
Largely as a result of these initiatives, ICE last year removed more than 392,800 aliens from the United States, which is a record number; of that number more than 195,700 were aliens with criminal convictions.