A horrific 300 illegal immigrant sex offenders have been arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It’s not the number alone that is alarming; it’s the fact that all 302 have been arrested only since June 4th.
The arrests took part as part of an ongoing national effort to arrest and deport the offenders, called Operation SOAR (Sex Offender Arrest and Removal). The agency’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) launched the program.
The operation involves ERO’s Fugitive Operations Support Center (FOSC) collaborating with its Law Enforcement Support Center to identify criminal illegal immigrants who are also registered as sex offenders. It seeks not only to arrest them, but also to remove them from the country.
ICE has seen its enforcement priorities narrowed by new guidance issued in February, with current guidelines focusing agents on arresting recent border crossers, aggravated felons and those posing a threat to national security.
While critics have claimed the guidance hinders the agency from apprehending some illegal immigrants, ICE’s acting director has said the rules allow the agency to focus its limited resources on nabbing the most dangerous threats to the country.
“Our officers have prioritized the arrest of noncitizens who pose the greatest threat to the security and safety of our communities,” acting ICE Director Tae Johnson said in a statement.
“By focusing our resources on those who have committed sex crimes and demonstrated predatory behavior, we reinforce our steadfast commitment to enhancing public safety across the United States,” he said.