WASHINGTON, D.C. — A March operation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) resulted in the arrests of more than 80 people in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland.
Sixty-eight, of the 82 people arrested during the four-day operation, had previous criminal convictions for crimes like armed robbery, larceny and drug distribution, according to ICE.
“Of the remaining 14, two had ties to the MS-13 street gang; two had outstanding final orders of removal; three had overstayed their visas; one was wanted by a foreign law enforcement entity; one was a verified human rights violator; and two had pending local charges. The remainder had unlawfully entered the United States in violation of U.S. immigration laws,” according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson.
A 34-year-old documented MS-13 gang member, previously removed from the United States in 2006, was arrested in Chesterfield on March 29, according to ICE.
Other local arrests released by ICE included:
- On March 28, ERO officers arrested a 45-year-old citizen and national of the Dominican Republic in Chesterfield, Virginia. He has felony convictions for sale of cocaine and attempted robbery.
- On March 30, ERO officers arrested a 57-year-old citizen and national of Honduras in Richmond, Virginia. She has felony convictions for grand larceny and inflicting corporal injury to spouse.
“ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement operations focused on criminal aliens,” ERO Washington Field Office Director Yvonne Evans said. “This operation successfully removed immigration violators with a variety of criminal convictions ranging from driving under the influence to grand larceny from our communities.”
Those arrested hailed from 26 different countries Algeria, Bolivia, China, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Iran, Jamaica, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Somalia, South Korea, Sudan, Trinidad, Vietnam and Sierra Leone.
The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, had previously “strongly condemned” the ICE operation.
“Raids which targeted working fathers and long-time Richmond residents resulted in the division of multiple families rooted in the community,” a Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy spokesperson said. “ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officers misrepresented themselves as local police, undermining community trust in local law enforcement. Despite the position of Richmond’s local leadership, our neighbors remain unsafe, pushed further into the shadows. It is incumbent upon each of us to advocate for greater accountability and policies that promote justice for all.”
This story will be updated with a new statement from the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy once a requested statement has been received.