ICE officers nabbed 132 illegal immigrants in the Washington metropolitan region in an enforcement sweep this month, including a high-ranking MS-13 member, a convicted child rapist and other serious criminals, the agency announced Tuesday.
The operation, which ran from July 9 to 20, targeted criminals, but U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers said that if they also encountered other illegal immigrants during their sweep they reserved the right to deport them, too.
Of the 132 arrested, 37 will face criminal charges such as sneaking back into the U.S. after being deported.
The rest will be put into deportation proceedings. Many of the targets can be immediately deported because of their previous immigration history.
“We set out to locate and detain known, dangerous criminal aliens who are hiding and operating in the neighborhoods we call home,” said Russell Hott, director of ICE’s Washington deportation field office. “Today’s announcement is the result of the absolutely essential work our ICE officers perform to identify the worst of the worst and ensure they have no refuge here.”
The sweep was dubbed Operation Eagle’s Shield.
The Washington region is the latest to see a sweep, which ICE calls a targeted enforcement action.”
Areas with sanctuary cities have been particular targets for these kinds of sweeps, with ICE officers saying that since they have been forced out of local prisons and jails thanks to political pressure, they have to go out into the communities to arrest illegal immigrants.