In a nationwide operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), at least a dozen illegal immigrants with previous charges or convictions related to child exploitation were arrested. The arrests took place in Alaska, Washington state, Oregon, and Texas. Additionally, a total of 171 illegal immigrants with pending charges or convictions for murder, homicide, or sexual assault against children have been arrested in 25 cities across the country.
ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Seattle Field Office Director, Drew Bostock, emphasized that noncitizens who commit acts against children will not be allowed to claim the United States as their home. The arrests made during this operation highlight the agency's commitment to keeping the country safe from child predators.
ERO Harlingen (Texas) Field Office Director, Miguel Vergara, expressed satisfaction with the operation's results, stating that the arrests demonstrate ERO's commitment to removing those who undermine community safety and U.S. immigration laws.
The arrests included individuals from various countries, such as Mexico, El Salvador, and Venezuela, who had been convicted of crimes such as sexual assault, indecency with a child, and child molestation. The operation also led to the apprehension of 26 individuals in Los Angeles with pending charges or convictions for murder, homicide, and assault against children.
These arrests come at a time when the number of migrants crossing into the U.S. illegally has been increasing under the Biden administration. The issue has become politically contentious, with Republicans criticizing a Senate-backed bipartisan border bill that may face challenges in the House.
In the fiscal year 2023, ERO arrested a total of 73,822 migrants with criminal charges, including sexual assault, homicide, and kidnapping.
Overall, the arrests made during this operation highlight ICE's efforts to address child exploitation and protect communities from individuals with criminal records. The issue of illegal immigration remains a complex and politically charged topic, with differing opinions on how to address it effectively.