ICE plans nationwide sweep targeting undocumented immigrants who ignored orders to self-deport in third major arrest operation in the weeks before the presidential election

  • A memo obtained by CNN says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] is planning on detaining undocumented immigrants who haven't self deported
  • ICE is looking for 'illegal aliens who broke their commitment or promise to the United States by failing to leave the country on an order of voluntary departure'
  • Agents executing 'Operation Broken Promise' will make it a priority to arrest undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes

PUBLISHED: 15:52 EDT, 23 October 2020 | UPDATED: 18:00 EDT, 23 October 2020

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is planning on deploying its agents across the country in search of undocumented immigrants who have not voluntarily left the country.

A memo obtained by CNN indicated that ICE will be searching for 'illegal aliens who broke their commitment or promise to the United States by failing to leave the country on an order of voluntary departure.'

It will be the third major operation targeting undocumented immigrants in the past month, just weeks before the presidential election on Nov. 3.

President Trump made controlling illegal immigration a focus of his administration - targeting sanctuary city policies around the nation, rallying for a border wall and implementing a controversial family separation policy at the border.

In the 'Operation Broken Promise' memo, ICE said that 'unfortunately, over the years, thousands of aliens have accepted the benefit of VD [voluntary departure] without fulfilling their promise to the Government - failing to timely depart the United States.'



ICE agents have arrested 300 undocumented immigrants since September 28 in sanctuary cities. At least 172 were detained from October 3 through October 9 during operations that took place in Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Seattle, Denver, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York

Individuals who are arrested for unlawful entry to the U.S. are sometimes eligible to self deport if they are not considered a threat to the public.
They are given a specific date by which they have to remove themselves from the United States and return to their country of origin by airplane without a connecting flight.
'We do not comment on any law enforcement sensitive issues that may adversely impact our officers and the public. However, every day as part of routine operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] targets and arrests criminal aliens and other individuals who have violated our nation's immigration laws,' an ICE spokesperson told on Friday.
'While being mindful of the current pandemic, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) is continuing to conduct its critical public safety and immigration enforcement mission, while taking efforts to minimize the risks to officers, aliens, and the public related to COVID-19.'
Agents will also focus on undocumented immigrants who live in sanctuary cities where local governments and law enforcement departments don't comply with policies set in place by ICE.
ICE said it will also target undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of crimes in the past.

The agency has ramped up its efforts to target undocumented immigrants with deportation orders as President Donald Trump seeks re-election on November 3.

Under 'Operation Rise,' from October 3 through October 9, agents arrested 172 undocumented immigrants who had deportation orders in Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Seattle, Denver, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York, where immigrants are shielded by local governments who don't comply with ICE policies.
ICE said that more than 80 per cent of the individuals arrested were convicted or had pending charges but had been released into the community.
In the first phase of the operation, from September 28 to October 2, ICE agents apprehended 128 undocumented immigrants just in the Los Angeles area. Most had previous convictions that included murder, sexual assault, sex crimes involving children, assault, robbery, domestic violence and DUI.
On October 8, ICE agents in New York detained a 64-year-old man from Panama who in May 2010 was convicted for 'sexual conduct against a child in the 2nd degree.' That same day, a 61-year-old man from Peru was apprehended for his February 2016 'conviction conviction for committing a criminal sex act in the 3rd degree with a minor.

Both men have been placed in ICE custody pending deportation.
Also on October 8, ICE agents in Virginia arrested a 28-year-old Mexican national who had been previously deported in 2013. The man reentered the United States following his removal and was arrested three times for felony forgery, identity theft and driving without a license. The agency filed three immigration detainers with the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail, but he was released each time.


ICE agents gather during the first phase of Operation Rise as the agency targeted sanctuary cities in California from September 28 to October 3. ICE arrested 128 undocumented immigrants who in the past were released from local or state law enforcement custody but had immigration detainers that called for their removal from the United States

'Last fiscal year, 86% of people arrested by ICE had criminal convictions or pending charges. ICE focuses its resources on those who pose the greatest threat to public safety,' said Acting DHS Secretary Chad F. Wolf.
'The men and women of ICE put their lives on the line every day to keep these individuals off the streets. The Department will continue to carry out lawful enforcement actions in order to keep our communities safe, regardless of whether or not we have cooperation from state and local officials. Politics will not come before safety when enforcing the law and keeping our citizens safe.'
Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which keeps a log of immigration court data, found that 16,451 undocumented immigrants were deported in fiscal year 2020, which covered October 2019 to September 2020.
Data showed that ICE deported 60,356 people to Guatemala and 55,678 to Honduras. Mexico was third in the list with 44,275 nationals deported back, followed by El Salvador, 29,619, and Cuba, 10,665.