Federal officials released Monday that 91 foreign nationals were arrested in a five-day sweep across New Jersey, including some that had convictions for violent crimes.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in its announcement that seven individuals from Middlesex County were arrested as part of its sweep. Hudson County had the most arrest with 19. Arrest were also made in Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Hudson, Mercer, Monmouth, Passaic, Union and Warren counties.
Those arrested, according to ICE, ranged in age from 19 to 78 years old and were all previously convicted of a variety of offenses. The statement said some of those convictions were for sexual assault on a minor, child abuse, drug possession, distribution of drugs, money laundering, DUI, fraud, domestic violence, weapon possession, aggravated assault on law enforcement, kidnapping and illegal reentry, among other crimes.
"The remarkable results of our officers and law enforcement partners highlight ICE's ongoing commitment to public safety," said John Tsoukaris, field office director of ERO Newark, in a statement. "This operation focuses on the arrest of individuals convicted of serious crimes and are a threat to public safety. Because of the targeted efforts of these professional officers, there are 91 fewer criminals in our communities."
One of the individuals arrested is a Salvadoran national in West New York, ICE said, who is in the country illegally and has an Interpol warrant for being a member of MS-13 and trafficking in firearms and narcotics.
ICE also disclosed limited information about some of the other individuals detained, including, in New Brunswick where a 46-year-old Honduran national, who has convictions of endangering the welfare of a child, was released from the Middlesex County Jail and arrested by ICE.
The individuals arrested in New Jersey were nationals of Anguilla, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras), Jamaica, Korea, Macedonia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Philippines, Peru, Poland, Spain, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Venezuela.
According to the statement, 77 percent of those arrested were convicted criminals and 70 percent of them had prior felony convictions. Those arrested will appear before an immigration judge for removal hearings if they are not already under a final order for deportation.
“ICE continues to focus its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy,” according to the ICE statement. “However, as ICE Director Thomas Homan has made clear, ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”