ICE officers arrest 51 as part of immigration sweep in Virginia, DC

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- A six-day operation conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers led to the arrest of 51 individuals in Virginia and Washington, D.C.

One of those arrests was made in Harrisonburg and one was in Charlottesville.

The operation ran from Sept. 18 to Sept. 23, and all 51 were arrested on civil immigration charges.

However, of the 51 arrested, 47 had previously been convicted of crimes like grand larceny and rape. Three of the four remaining individuals have pending charges against them; one is the subject of an Interpol Red Notice. One person was issued a final order of removal by an immigration judge in January 2015, making him a priority for civil immigration enforcement.

The 51 arrestees were all male citizens and/or nationals of several different countries across the globe, including Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Indonesia, Guatemala, South Korea, Iraq, Jamaica, India, Pakistan and Jordan.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, arrests included:

• On Sept. 18, ERO officers arrested a citizen and national of Mexico in Ridgeway, Virginia, who was previously convicted of grand larceny.
• On Sept. 19, ERO officers arrested a citizen and national of India in Fairfax, Virginia, who was previously convicted for attempted indecent liberties with a child under age 15.
• On Sept. 19, ERO officers arrested a citizen and national of Mexico, in Manassas Park, Virginia, who was previously convicted of rape.
• On Sept. 20, ERO officers arrested a citizen and national of Honduras in Portsmouth, Virginia, who was previously convicted of abduction by force/intimidation.

“Every person apprehended during this operation was considered an immigration enforcement priority, as outlined in the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s 2014 memorandum,” said ERO Washington Field Office Director Yvonne Evans. “This is another example of our success in targeted, strategic operations based on our top priorities for removal.”

Arrests took place across Virginia and the District. In northern Virginia, arrests took place in Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park, Fredericksburg, Fairfax, Sterling, Herndon, Chantilly and Woodbridge.

In what was listed as the central part of the state, they took place in Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Richmond and Culpepper.

In Hampton Roads, arrests took place in Norfolk and Portsmouth.

And in Southwest Virginia, arrests took place in Martinsville, Roanoke, Collinsville, Ringgold, Elliston, Wytheville, Fieldale, Ridgeway, Chatham, Danville and Bassett.

Arrested individuals who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country. Some individuals are currently facing criminal charges and will enter ICE custody once those court proceedings conclude. The remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.

The agency’s immigration enforcement priorities are outlined in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson’s 2014 memorandum, which can be read in the Related Links section.