ICE arrests illegal residents with criminal backgrounds
AUSTIN -- U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made 90 arrests in six days targeting illegal residents with a criminal history.
This is Operation Bear’s third year, where ICE agents made arrests in Austin, Laredo, the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio and Waco.
ICE targeted those with criminal pasts ranging from attempted murder to burglary, prostitution and assault.
The operation wrapped up Thursday. Of the 90 arrested, 83 are from Mexico, two are from El Salvador, and others are from Honduras, Guatemala, the Philippines, Portugal and Vietnam.
by JADE MINGUS
Posted on December 17, 2012 at 6:14 PM
Updated today at 6:22 PM
“They are generally not using their names. They are using aliases trying to stay under the radar, so they are difficult to identify and locate,” said ICE San Antonio Field Officer Director Enrique Lucero.
Lucero said of the 90 arrested, 13 have been previously deported from the United States and are now being federally prosecuted for re-entering. The others are in immigration proceeding, and the government will decide on a case-by-case basis what happens next.
“ICE hopes we are actually preventing crime from happening,” said Lucero.
Four months ago, ICE launched a fugitive operations team in Austin. Now its six members can quickly respond to tips from the agency’s 24 hour reporting hot-line at (866) 347-2423.
“You can't help but think 'Thank God, they are doing something and these criminals are no longer walking among us,'” said Austin resident Mercedes Garza.