(NEW YORK) — Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 171 unauthorized noncitizens with a variety of criminal records ranging from murder, homicide or assault against children as part of a recent enforcement push spanning 25 major cities, the agency announced Thursday.
“These were some very bad individuals that we wanted to take off the streets,” ICE Acting Director Patrick J. Lechleitner told reporters on Thursday.
Lechleitner said the group arrested included more than 100 sex offenders. Those picked up by ICE include alleged criminals who will now go through immigration proceedings for deportation.
The Biden administration has come under fire from Republicans for changing immigration enforcement priorities. Under the new structure, crossing the border illegally is not enough to make a noncitizen a top priority for removal. Instead, the ICE has focused on the most recent border crossers and those with criminal records.
“We’re an intel-led organization and we’re going to target these individuals based on our priorities,” Lechleitner said.
The head of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Daniel Bible said the agency is also working to leverage new technology to make it easier for migrants apprehended at the border to check in and move through the immigration adjudication process.
“Depending on what cities you go to, you know, like the New York’s and Miami’s, there’s — there’s a high volume so it’s taken a while to actually get people scheduled in but what we are doing is we’re leveraging technology,” Bible said.
Last year ICE arrested 73,822 noncitizens with criminal records, according to the agency. But ICE officials say the agency needs more resources to continue their work targeting the full scope of criminal noncitizens.
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