WICHITA, Kansas — Two hundred-eighty convicted criminal aliens were arrested in six Midwestern states during a monthlong initiative which ended Saturday. It was conducted by officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
ICE officers arrested 35 men and one woman in the Wichita area. Those arrested are nationals from Mexico (30) and Guatemala (6). The majority of the arrests were made in Wichita (16) and Garden City (9). Additional arrests occurred in the following Kansas communities: Cimmaron, Dodge City, Liberal, Newton, Syracuse and Ulysses.
The enforcement surge, which began May 18 and concluded June 13, is the latest effort by ICE to prioritize the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens. The arrests were made in five other states: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Missouri. The 272 men and eight women arrested are from 22 countries.
All 280 individuals arrested have been convicted of crimes in the United States and fall within ICE’s enforcement priorities for deportation. Overall, their convictions include: aggravated robbery, armed robbery, drug possession, burglary, aggravated drunken driving, illegal possessing a weapon by a felon, battery, hit-and-run, and drug trafficking.
Following are two case examples of individuals arrested in the Wichita area:
- A previously deported 45-year-old Mexican national with a prior conviction for delivering a controlled substance (heroin). He illegally re-entered the United States after being deported in 1997. He was arrested June 5 in Wichita and remains in ICE custody pending deportation.
- A 32-year-old Mexican national with a prior conviction for battery. He was arrested June 11 in Wichita and is pending deportation proceedings.
“Our dedicated officers strive to make our communities safer by arresting convicted criminal aliens and removing them from the United States,” said Ricardo Wong, field officer director for ERO Chicago. “By focusing our resources on the most egregious offenders, we ensure the very best use of our resources while immediately improving public safety.”
In fiscal year 2014, ICE conducted 315,943 removals nationwide. Eighty-five percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.