Caribbean Na­tion­als among Im­mi­grants Nabbed in US this Year

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

Caribbean na­tion­als were among a large num­ber of im­mi­grants nabbed in 2016, as the United States Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment (ICE) sought to pro­tect Amer­ica “from the cross-bor­der crime and il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion that threaten na­tional se­cu­rity and pub­lic safety.”

In its Year-in-Re­view re­port the agency said that its mis­sion was ac­com­plished by the peo­ple of ICE “work­ing to­gether and by ad­her­ing to our val­ues of in­tegrity, courage and ex­cel­lence.”

ICE of­fered a “snap­shot” of its Home­land Se­cu­rity In­ves­ti­ga­tions (HSI), En­force­ment and Re­moval Op­er­a­tions (ERO) and Man­age­ment and Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s “daily work” in the re­port.

In March, dur­ing a five­week op­er­a­tion dubbed “Project Shadow fire,” ICE said 1,133 im­mi­grants, in­clud­ing Caribbean na­tion­als, were ar­rested.

Ac­cord­ing to the agency, the sweep in­cluded more than 900 transna­tional crim­i­nal gang mem­bers and oth­ers as­so­ci­ated with transna­tional crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity, such as drug traf­fick­ing, hu­man smug­gling and sex traf­fick­ing, mur­der and rack­e­teer­ing.

Na­tion­als from 13 coun­tries in Cen­tral Amer­ica, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean were re­port­edly ar­rested in “Project Shadow fire,” which was a “surge op­er­a­tion” con­ducted un­der Op­er­a­tion Com­mu­nity Shield.

ICE said that 1,001 were charged with crim­i­nal of­fenses, and 132 were ar­rested ad­min­is­tra­tively for im­mi­gra­tion vi­o­la­tions.

An uniden­ti­fied Belizean was among 331 in­di­vid­u­als sub­se­quently ar­rested dur­ing a month-long op­er­a­tion in June that tar­geted crim­i­nal im­mi­grants and other im­mi­gra­tion vi­o­la­tors in six Mid­west­ern states, ICE said.

The op­er­a­tion was aimed at ar­rest­ing and re­mov­ing con­victed crim­i­nal im­mi­grants from the US, and ar­rests were made in Illi­nois, In­di­ana, Wis­con­sin, Ken­tucky, Kansas and Mis­souri.

In July two more Belizean na­tion­als were among 100 im­mi­grants ar­rested in the Los An­ge­les area.

The fol­low­ing month of­fi­cers from ICE and ERO ar­rested 58 per­sons dur­ing an op­er­a­tion span­ning the New York met­ro­pol­i­tan area, tar­get­ing crim­i­nal im­mi­grants and “other en­force­ment pri­or­i­ties.”

ERO of­fi­cers ap­pre­hended im­mi­grants with crim­i­nal con­vic­tions, in ad­di­tion to oth­ers who fell un­der the agency’s en­force­ment pri­or­i­ties, dur­ing the five-day en­force­ment ac­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to ICE, those ar­rested had crim­i­nal his­to­ries with past con­vic­tions for rape, kid­nap­ping, rob­bery, bur­glary and other se­ri­ous crim­i­nal of­fences.

The for­eign na­tion­als ar­rested dur­ing the op­er­a­tion in­cluded cit­i­zens of 17 coun­tries: Ja­maica, Trinidad and Tobago, Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic, Belize, St Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines, Guyana, Mex­ico, Philip­pines, In­done­sia, Gu­atemala, Ecuador, El Sal­vador, Le­banon, Colom­bia, Is­rael, Ro­ma­nia and the United King­dom.

“As we move con­fi­dently into 2017, ICE will con­tinue to strive for ex­cel­lence in all our ef­forts,” the re­port noted.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port from U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment, over 1,000 im­mi­grants were ar­rested, a large por­tion from the Caribbean re­gion.

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