Local ICE Rounds Up 94 Criminal Aliens In Latest 'Operation Cross Check'

Dozens of convicted criminals in Houston, who also violated orders to leave the country, are off the streets. Immigration officials rounded them up in the latest nationwide effort to remove criminal aliens.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement targets two groups during six-day enforcement periods it calls "Cross Check."  One group is criminal aliens with multiple convictions.  The other is aliens who flagrantly violate immigration law.  Matthew Baker is the acting deputy director for the Houston field office of ICE.

"Most of these aliens were here, in the United States, illegally.  Or, subsequently, became illegal with some aliens that are legally here, if they have a permanent resident card, or that sort of thing, even if they're convicted of certain crimes, it makes them deportable and removable."

Baker says those crimes include murder, attempted, kidnapping, and most forms of assault.  The Houston office of ICE covers 54 counties.  Local agents arrested 94 criminal aliens.  All but 20 were picked up in the city of Houston.  Baker says they will remain in ICE custody.

"They'll go in front of an immigration judge and have an opportunity to present their case.  And, once they become a final order of removal, or all those who are already final orders of removal, ICE will remove them back to their home country."

Since late 2009, ICE has held nearly a dozen regional and national Cross Check operations.  They have resulted in the arrest of nearly 7,500 aliens who've been convicted of serious crimes.

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David Pitman

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