Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the end of a month-long operation across 14 New Jersey counties, which led to the arrest of 128 immigrants. The operation focused “on the arrest of individuals convicted of serious crimes and are a threat to public safety,” noted John Tsoukaris, Newark’s Enforcement & Removal Operations (ERO) Field Office Director.
According to ICE, however, a collateral result of the operation is the arrest of many New Jersey undocumented immigrants who have never had any interaction with the criminal justice system, may have been in the United States for decades, pay taxes, and have United States Citizen children: “[d]uring targeted enforcement operations, ICE officers frequently encounter additional suspects who may be in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. Those persons will be evaluated on a case by case basis and, when appropriate, arrested by ICE.” “When appropriate” for arrest is now every case. There is no more discretion.
ICE’s enforcement actions occurred in Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, and Union counties. Those arrested were ages 19 to 56 and were from Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Poland, Spain, and Trinidad.
In light of the obviously-increasing ICE enforcement actions throughout New Jersey, it is imperative that those with immigration concerns reach out to immigration counsel to discuss what options may be available.
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