MADISON, Wis. – Twenty convicted criminals illegally present in the United States were arrested during a two-day targeted enforcement operation in the Madison area by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
The targeted operation, which concluded Saturday, was conducted by the ERO Milwaukee Fugitive Operations Team. The 20 arrested criminal aliens have convictions on the following charges: armed robbery, felon possessing a firearm, drug possession, battery, domestic abuse, using a dangerous weapon, theft, manufacturing/delivering cocaine, and multiple violations for driving under the influence.
Six of the 20 convicted criminals were also immigration fugitives with outstanding deportation orders. One other criminal alien had been previously deported but illegally re-entered the United States, which is a felony that carries a sentence of up to 20 years if convicted.
"Convicted criminals and egregious immigration violators are among ICE’s highest enforcement priorities," said Ricardo Wong, field office director for ERO Chicago. "By targeting our efforts on these egregious offenders, we are improving public safety while making the best use of our resources." Wong oversees a six-state area including: Wisconsin, Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Missouri.
Following is the nationality breakdown of the 17 men and three women arrested: Mexico (15), Honduras (2), and one each from Argentina, Laos and Peru. The majority of the arrests occurred in Madison, with some arrests made in Jefferson (4), Watertown (2) and Beaver Dam (1).
In fiscal year 2013, ICE conducted 368,644 removals nationwide. Eighty-two percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.
Other than convicted criminals, the agency's enforcement priorities include those apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal re-entrants (individuals who returned to the United States after being previously removed by ICE) and immigration fugitives.