ICE arrests 31 during 2-day operation targeting criminal aliens and immigration fugitives in Chicago area

CHICAGO – As part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) ongoing commitment to prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators, 31 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and immigration violators were arrested during a two-day operation in the greater Chicago area.

This operation concluded Sunday and was conducted by ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations teams in Chicago.

Of the 31 arrested, 26 had prior convictions for crimes such as: aggravated assault, weapons offenses, domestic battery, aggravated drunken driving, burglary and drugs. Thirteen of the 31 were immigration fugitives who had been previously ordered to leave the country but failed to depart; the majority of these also had criminal convictions. Six of those arrested had been previously removed from the country and illegally re-entered the United States, which is a felony.

Following is the nationality breakdown of the 31 men arrested: Mexico (22), Nigeria (2), Germany (1), Guatemala (1), Honduras (1), Poland (1), Tajikistan (1), Thailand (1) and Venezuela (1). The arrests occurred in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, including Addison, Cicero, Bolingbrook and Waukegan.

Following are summaries of two individuals arrested during this operation:

A 51-year-old Mexican national has prior criminal convictions for aggravated assault on a police officer, illegally re-entering the United States after being deported, and domestic battery. He was arrested Nov. 3 at his Naperville residence and remains in ICE custody pending removal to Mexico.
A 64-year-old German national has prior criminal convictions for possessing a firearm silencer and theft. He is also an immigration fugitive with an outstanding deportation order. He was arrested Nov. 4 at his Chicago residence and remains in ICE custody pending removal to Germany.

"ERO officers will continue to work tirelessly to improve the public safety in the Chicago area by locating, apprehending and removing at-large criminal aliens and repeat immigration violators who have blatantly disregarded the immigration laws," said Ricardo Wong, field office director for ERO Chicago. "With targeted enforcement operations, we are focusing our resources on the most egregious offenders while improving public safety for law-abiding residents in our communities."

This enforcement action was spearheaded by ICE's National Fugitive Operations Program, which is responsible for investigating, locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives.

ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security. ICE also prioritizes the arrest and removal of those who game the immigration system including immigration fugitives or criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.