ICE raids illegal immigrants in Alaska, Washington state, Oregon, Texas with child exploitation convictions
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested at least a dozen illegal immigrants with prior child trafficking charges or convictions following a nationwide operation, the agency confirmed Friday.
They were arrested in Alaska, Washington State, Oregon and Texas.
At least 171 illegal immigrants have been arrested in 25 cities across the country as they await charges or convictions for murder, manslaughter or sexual assault of children.
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“Non-citizens who commit acts of vengeance at the expense of children will not be allowed to claim our great country as their home,” ICE Seattle Field Office (ERO) Director Drew Bostock said in a release.
He said, “The arrests ERO Seattle made during this national operation are an example of the ongoing contributions we make locally to keep the US safe from child predators.
The national investigation known as Operation Night Guard took place between January 16-28.
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“We are very pleased with the results of this operation,” ERO Harlingen (Texas) field office director Miguel Vergara said in a statement. “The arrests are a testament to ERO’s commitment to arresting and removing those who undermine the safety of our communities and the integrity of US immigration laws.”
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Among those arrested in the Pacific Northwest and Texas were:
- A 34-year-old Mexican citizen in Los Fresnos, Texas, was convicted of sexually assaulting a child.
- A 58-year-old citizen of Mexico in Laredo, Texas, who was convicted of a felony of attempted knowing non-criminal.
- A 62-year-old citizen of Mexico in Edinburg, Texas, was convicted of a sex crime with a child, sexual contact.
- A 49-year-old Mexican citizen in Laredo, Texas, who was convicted of crimes involving a child, appears.
- A 53-year-old citizen of El Salvador in Tacoma, Washington, was convicted of molestation of a child in the first degree, molestation of a child in the second degree, and rape of a child in the third degree.
- A 42-year-old Mexican citizen of Moses Lake, Washington, was convicted of dealing in sexually explicit images of a minor.
- A 39-year-old citizen of Mexico in Federal Way, Washington, was convicted contact with a minor for immoral purposes.
- A 69-year-old Mexican national in Yakima, Washington, was convicted of dealing in images of a minor involved in sexually explicit behavior.
- 58-year-old Mexican citizen of Yakima, Washington, convicted of child abuse in the in the first degree, child molestation in the second degree, and child rape in the third degree.
- A 43-year-old citizen of Mexico in Woodburn, Oregon, who was convicted of first degree sexual abuse of a minor.
And on Thursday, ERO Los Angeles announced that they had also arrested 26 illegal immigrants with pending charges or convictions for murder, manslaughter and assault against children.
The arrest comes as large numbers of immigrants enter the US illegally under the Biden administration, including in December when 302,034 immigrants were encountered.
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The issue has become a political crisis for President Biden just months before the election and one Republican has seized on it, many of them criticizing the bipartisan border bill supported by the Senate. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson said it could be “dead on arrival.”
In fiscal year 2023, the ERO arrested 73,822 immigrants with criminal charges, including sexual assault, homicide and kidnapping.