By Anders Hagstrom
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 27 foreign nationals in a day-long operation in West Michigan, federal agents announced Friday.
ICE claimed that 21 of the 27 nationals had prior criminal convictions, according to MLive.com. Among those arrested were a Mexican national who had a prior conviction for assaulting a police officer. Others had convictions including larceny, assault and battery DUI, domestic violence, as well as retail and welfare fraud. Five of those arrested will face felony prosecutions for re-entering the country after being deported, which carries a 20-year sentence.
“Operations like this one demonstrate ICE’s continued focus on the arrest of dangerous criminal aliens as well as those who enter the United States illegally,” said Rebecca Adducci, an ICE field office director based in Detroit.
The arrests come after ICE has ramped up its arrests under President Donald Trump’s administration. The agency has conducted several mass arrests throughout 2017.
A four-day operation in August reaped 650 arrests. The ICE operation, called “Operation Border Guardian/Border Resolve,” was designed to target immigrants who entered the country illegally as minors who are now over 18, and minors over 16 who are suspected of being gang members.
The agency nabbed another 500 in a similar operation in September. Dubbed operation “Safe City,” ICE and Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) teams took 498 individuals into custody on federal immigration charges. The operation targeted areas where ICE agents are “denied access to jails and prisons to interview suspected immigration violators or jurisdictions where ICE detainers are not honored,” ICE said in a statement.
A nationwide anti-gang operation in November also bagged more than 250 members of MS-13, an infamous international drug cartel. Dubbed “Operation Raging Bull,” the gang sweep netted a total of 267 MS-13 members in the U.S. and overseas, officials said. The operation is the latest nationwide initiative against MS-13, which the Trump administration has made a priority immigration enforcement target.