- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 13, 2017

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - More than 100 people were arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents around New Jersey last week as officials report a 40 percent increase in detentions nationally during the 2017 fiscal year.

Eighty of the 101 people, ranging in age from 20 to71, had prior felony convictions, according to ICE spokeswoman Rachael Yong Yow. Nine had misdemeanor convictions, five had arrest warrants, and seven were not facing any criminal charges, she said.

In a statement, Enforcement and Removal Operations field office director John Tsoukaris said the office continues to focus on the “arrest of individuals who are criminal and are a threat to public safety.”

Those arrested during the five-day sweep included 18 nationals of the Dominican Republic, 15 from Mexico, eight from Honduras and seven from El Salvador.

Notable arrests included a Turkish citizen who was convicted for possessing child pornography, a Korean national who was found guilty of cocaine distribution and an Egyptian convicted of possessing heroin. Officials did not release the names of those arrested.

Data showed out of the 8,200 deportation cases filed in New Jersey in fiscal year 2017, only 414 were from criminal charges. Newark immigration attorney Harlan York called the removal of non-criminal immigrants a “disturbing trend.”

ICE declined to make public the total amount of arrests in New Jersey since January.

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