The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency says officers from its Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) have arrested a number of Jamaicans in the Pennsylvania area among 84 individuals during a weeklong operation targeting criminal and other immigration violators.
Arrests were also made throughout Delaware and West Virginia, ICE said.
ICE on Wednesday did not state the number of Jamaicans arrested nor did it identify them in latest effort to “prioritize the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens and other enforcement priorities living illegally in the United States.”
All of those arrested have been convicted of crimes in the United States, or otherwise fall within ICE’s enforcement priorities for deportation, the agency said.
ICE said convictions include corruption of a minor, child pornography offenses, indecent assault, robbery, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, driving under the influence (DUI), cocaine and heroin possession and felony fraud.
Besides Jamaica, those arrested are nationals of Mexico, Uruguay, Kenya, El Salvador, Guatemala, , Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Argentina, Liberia, Honduras, Brazil, Ghana, India, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, Bosnia and Germany.
Among the summaries of some of immigrants arrested is a 39-year-old Jamaican national with prior convictions for possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance.
ICE said he was arrested on May 6 at a Philadelphia residence after being released from local custody and remains in ICE custody pending a hearing before a federal immigration judge.
“ICE’s targeted immigration-enforcement operations prioritize arresting convicted criminals and public-safety threats,” said Thomas Decker, field office director for ERO Philadelphia. “By focusing our resources on these most egregious offenders, we immediately improve public safety in our communities.”
In fiscal year 2015, ICE said it conducted 235,413 deportations nationwide.
It said 91 percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.
“ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security,” the statement said.