Agents for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 82 people in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia last week, including one who they said was identified as an officer in command of a Somali organization known for human rights abuses, rape, torture and killings.
The arrests included 68 people with previous criminal convictions, ICE said in a news release that described the five-day operation as a routine “targeted immigration enforcement.”
Those who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, can be immediately removed from the country. Others will remain in custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending deportation arrangements.
The Somali, a 50-year-old man, was picked up in Falls Church, Virginia, and was a second lieutenant in the Somali National Security Service who had a felony drug conviction, ICE said.
Agents also took into custody two people who have ties to the MS-13 street gang, ICE said, two who already had been given final deportation orders, and three who had overstayed their visas.
ICE said two of the targeted individuals had pending local charges and one was wanted by a foreign law enforcement organization. Three more had unlawfully entered the United States, the agency said.
Most were arrested in Virginia, but two were arrested in the District and one in Maryland. Their names were not released.
Similar sweeps happened during the Obama administration. But there has been heightened scrutiny of such actions since the inauguration of President Trump, who promised to crack down on illegal immigration.
Those who were arrested came from 26 countries, the agency said, including:
–A 40-year-old citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, who was arrested in Norfolk, Virginia, and has convictions for felony drug distribution and firearm possessions.
–A 45-year-old citizen of the Dominican Republic, arrested in Chesterfield, Virginia, who has felony convictions for sale of cocaine and attempted robbery.
–A 22-year-old citizen of Honduras, arrested in Fairfax, who has felony convictions for stolen goods and grand larceny.
–A 34-year-old citizen of El Salvador, arrested in Chesterfield, who ICE said is a documented MS-13 gang member who was removed from the United States in 2006.
–A 57-year-old citizen of Honduras, arrested in Richmond, Virginia, who has felony convictions for grand larceny and inflicting corporal injury to a spouse.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Patricia Sullivan