Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)announced Wednesday that a five-day operation targeting criminal illegal immigrants resulted in the arrest of more than 100 – with the majority having prior convictions or pending criminal charges.
“This enforcement operation tasked ICE officers in various areas across the country with identifying, locating and arresting criminal aliens who should not be in the United States and whose continued presence poses a significant threat to public safety,” acting ICE Director Tony Pham said during a news conference.
Operation Granite took place between Oct. 19 to 23 in Minnesota, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Texas, and brought in more than 100 illegal immigrants – whom Pham said are all in custody and being processed for removal from the country.
Pham said 70% had criminal records, including prior convictions, pending charges or both. Those include convictions or charges for the kidnapping of a minor, domestic assault, burglary, sexual assault, cruelty toward children, sexual exploitation of a minor and robbery.
It marks the latest in a quick-fire succession of local operations designed to pick up predominantly criminal illegal immigrants – although ICE has said that it does not exclude picking up those who are in the country illegally with no criminal record.
President Trump has made immigration enforcement a top priority of his administration but has faced significant pushback from left-wing politicians and activists who have accused him of a xenophobic campaign and of cruelty against otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants. ICE and the Department of Homeland Security have countered by pointing to the criminals that such operations have picked up.
Operation Granite follows Operation Rise, which targeted “sanctuary” jurisdictions that shield illegal immigrants from deportation by refusing to work with federal immigration authorities. In that operation, 176 illegal immigrants were taken into custody by ICE agents in Philadelphia, Denver, New York, Washington, Baltimore and Seattle. About 140 of those detained have criminal records or pending charges, he said.
Days earlier, agents as part of that operationarrested 128 illegal immigrants in California. Officials said 96% of those arrested had convictions or pending charges for crimes including homicide, sexual assault, sexual offenses against children, weapons offenses and domestic violence.
*story by Fox News