AST on ICE Enforcement Operations & Comment by Secretary Kelly

American Security Today, as part of our homeland security coverage, featured a number of DHS ICE Enforcement Action Operations over the course of 2016.

Last week, a ICE Enforcement Operation resulted in ICE ERO arresting hundreds of individuals in a multi-state operation targeting criminal aliens and other immigration violators.

‘Critics of the recent ICE raids have posited the action as an offshoot of Donald Trump’s vow to crack down on undocumented immigrants entering the country illegally, an assertion ICE has repeatedly denied’ according to Downtown Patch Austin.

“Reports of ICE checkpoints and sweeps are false, dangerous and irresponsible,” ICE officials said.

“These reports create panic and put communities and law enforcement personnel in unnecessary danger. Any groups falsely reporting such activities are doing a disservice to those they claim to support.”

So the media attention surrounding last week’s enforcement action came as something of a surprise, seeing as the facts released do not appear to deviate from prior 2016 Enforcement Operations and was reportedly scheduled prior to General Kelly’s appointment as Secretary of Homeland Security, and during the last Administration.

Image Courtesy: ICE

A list of ICE ERO Operations featured in AST over the last year, and not intended to represent a comprehensive account of 2016 ERO Enforcement Actions, are as follows:

In fact the overall FY 2016 ICE Enforcement Actions are as follows:

ICE removed or returned 240,255 individuals in FY 2016, compared to 235,413 in FY 2015.

Throughout 2016 DHS continued to implement the civil immigration enforcement priorities as established by the former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson in November 2014.

In FY 2016, 98 percent of initial enforcement actions – a set of actions that includes USBP apprehensions, OFO determinations of inadmissibility, and ICE administrative arrests – involved individuals classified within one of the three enforcement priority categories.

Ninety-one percent were among the top priority (Priority 1), which includes national security threats, individuals apprehended at the border while attempting to enter unlawfully, and the most serious categories of convicted criminals as well as gang members.

At every point in the 2016 immigration enforcement process, DHS implemented the enforcement priorities as established by Secretary Johnson in his November 20, 2014 memorandum, Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants.

For a comprehensive discussion of DHS-wide enforcement actions in FY 2016 please click here.

Image Courtesy: ICE

For Similar Comparison, See FY 2015 ICE Enforcement Action Numbers as Follows:

In fiscal 2015, ICE removed or returned 235,413 individuals.

69,478 were apprehended in the interior of the United States, and the vast majority of these were convicted criminals who fell within US DHS two top immigration enforcement priorities as established by the former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson’s November 2014 memorandum, under the Obama Administration.

Ninety-eight percent of ICE’s fiscal 2015 removals and returns fell into one or more of ICE’s civil immigration enforcement priorities, with 86 percent falling in Priority 1 and eight percent in Priority 2.

In the November 2014 memorandum, Secretary Johnson directed ICE to prioritize the use of enforcement personnel, detention space, and removal assets to support the Department’s civil immigration enforcement priorities.

For a comprehensive breakdown of CBP’s FY 2015 enforcement efforts, please click here.

Image Courtesy: ICE

Statement from Secretary Kelly on recent ICE enforcement actions

Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a series of targeted enforcement operations across the country.

These operations targeted public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges.

ICE officers in the Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio and New York City areas of responsibility arrested more than 680 individuals who pose a threat to public safety, border security or the integrity of our nation’s immigration system.

Of those arrested, approximately 75 percent were criminal aliens, convicted of crimes including, but not limited to, homicide, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual assault of a minor, lewd and lascivious acts with a child, indecent liberties with a minor, drug trafficking, battery, assault, DUI and weapons charges.

ICE conducts these kind of targeted enforcement operations regularly and has for many years.

The focus of these enforcement operations is consistent with the routine, targeted arrests carried out by ICE’s Fugitive Operations teams on a daily basis.

President Trump has been clear in affirming the critical mission of DHS in protecting the nation and directed our Department to focus on removing illegal aliens who have violated our immigration laws, with a specific focus on those who pose a threat to public safety, have been charged with criminal offenses, have committed immigration violations or have been deported and re-entered the country illegally.

I commend the heroic efforts of the dedicated officers of ICE’s Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations and those who provided assistance from ICE Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Marshals Service, as well as cooperating state and local law enforcement agencies.

These professionals put their lives on the line to protect our communities and country. There is no greater calling that to serve and protect our nation – a mission that the men and women of ICE perform with professionalism and courage every single day.

– General John Kelly, Secretary of Homeland Security, DHS

DHS Statement: Gen. John Kelly

*Editors Note: In light of the American Security Today articles above, noting the ongoing targeted enforcement operations which have occurred regularly throughout 2016, we concur with General Kelly and would like to join in commending the efforts of DHS ICE ERO officers, and all federal, state and local enforcement agencies for your assistance and cooperation, towards ‘Keeping our Nation Safe, One City at a Time.’