Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have arrested 82 illegal immigrants in a five-day operation spanning Washington, D.C., and Virginia.
The operation, which resulted in the arrests of 82 people hailing from 26 different countries, took place from March 26 to March 30, WUSA9 reports. One arrest also occurred in Maryland.
Of the total swept up by ICE agents, 68 had criminal convictions such as armed robbery, drug distribution and larceny.
The other 14 had other issues. Two had close connections to the dangerous MS-13 gang. Two had ignored deportation orders. Three overstayed their visas.
One of the arrests was of a second lieutenant in command of the Somalian National Security Service, which is widely regarded as a perpetrator of human rights abuses.
The illegals came from 26 different countries, including: 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.
“This is the first targeted enforcement operation in Virginia on this scale under the new administration,” Carissa Cutrell, spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in a statement.
Cutrell had no information on the details of the arrests, but speculated that they could have taken place at any number of locations, from residence to place of employment.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine have been up in arms already about an ICE operation in February after agents nabbed two men leaving a shelter in Alexandria.
To protect illegals, Kaine has co-sponsored a new bill to establish shelters where ICE agents cannot arrest illegals — unless the agents have both prior approval and urgent circumstances.
“Federal officials trampling on decency and common sense so they can barrel into churches, hospitals and other sensitive places to hunt for people does nothing to make America safer,” said Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, who introduced the bill. “This legislation is urgent business because it would prevent the administration’s misguided and malicious approach to law enforcement and ensure that people are not afraid to go to the doctor, to send their children to school or attend a place of worship.”
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