Two fugitive murder suspects – one from Brazil who fled to Newark and another from El Salvador who was living in Elizabeth – were among 115 foreign nationals captured by ICE agents in New Jersey last week, officials said.
Also seized in last week’s sweep of nationals illegally living in New Jersey were a Salvadoran MS-13 gang member found in Paterson and
a deported child abuser from Mexico who was living In Guttenberg, they said.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement roundup targeted at-large criminal aliens, illegal reentrants and other immigration violators who were “a threat to public safety,” said Ruben Perez, acting field office director of the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operation in Newark.
“Because of the targeted efforts of these professional officers, there are 115 fewer criminals in our communities,” Perez said.
Perez also warned local law enforcement to expect more sweeps.
“The remarkable results of our officers and law enforcement partners highlight ICE’s ongoing commitment to public safety in the face of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Immigrant Trust Directive, which severely limits local and state law enforcement cooperation with ICE-ERO,” he said.
New Jersey’s Immigrant Trust Directive prohibits local police officers in New Jersey from stopping, searching or detaining anyone strictly over immigration status -- or for jails or any other arm of local, state or county law enforcement to detain immigrants at the request of ICE, except those involved in violent crimes of facing final deportation orders.
“Any local jurisdiction thinking that refusing to cooperate with ICE will result in a decrease in local immigration enforcement is mistaken,” Perez said.
“These jurisdictions that choose to not cooperate with ICE are likely to see an increase in ICE enforcement activity as ICE has no choice but to conduct more at-large, targeted enforcement actions since the agency is unable to take custody of a criminal alien within the confines of a local jail,” he added.
Those immigrants seized by ICE include six from Passaic County:
• In West Milford, a 46-year-old previously deported Mexican national convicted of criminal sexual contact involving a minor;
• In Paterson, a 22-year-old Dominican national member of the Trinitarios gang who has weapons and theft convictions;
• In Paterson, a 45-year-old Salvadoran national who has convictions for child endangerment and DUI;
• In Passaic, a 50-year-old Bolivian national who has multiple convictions for child endangerment, hindering apprehension and DUI;
• In Pompton Plains, a 55-year-old United Kingdom national convicted of arson, domestic violence and drug dealing;
• In Paterson, a 20-year-old Salvadoran national, who is a member of the MS-13 gang.
• In Newark, a 53-year-old Brazilian national wanted on a homicide warrant out of his native country;
• In Fairfield, a 58-year-old Peruvian national wanted for extortion in Peru;
• In North Bergen, a 44-year-old Salvadoran national who has a conviction for endangering the welfare of a child;
• In Elizabeth, a 28-year-old Salvadoran national who has a pending homicide case in El Salvador;
• In Guttenberg, a 40-year-old Mexican national convicted of child abuse, DUI and domestic violence;
• In North Brunswick, a 42-year-old Jamaican national convicted of drug smuggling and exporting cocaine;
• In Plainfield, a 31-year-old previously deported Guatemalan national who has convictions for domestic violence and DUI;
Of the 115 foreign nationals arrested by ICE agents from Jan. 27-Feb. 1, nearly 85% had prior criminal convictions and/or pending criminal charges – the same as the national average for 2019, authorities said.
Those arrested were nationals of Mexico (32), Guatemala (16), El Salvador (12), Dominican Republic (9), Ecuador (9), Honduras (9), Brazil (4), Colombia (3), and Cuba, India, Jamaica, Peru, Spain, the Philippines and Poland (2 each), along with one each from Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Nigeria, Panama, the United Kingdom and Venezuela.
Some will face federal criminal prosecutions for illegal entry and illegal re-entry after removal, ICE officials said. An alien who illegally re-enters the United States after removal can face up to 20 years in federal prison if criminally prosecuted, they noted.
Both ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) New York Field Office assisted, officials said.
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