New Immigration Enforcement Leads to 2,900 Arrests of Immigrants With Serious Criminal Charges

September 28, 2011 by David S. Seltzer

As a south Florida immigration attorney, I've written here before about the new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy of concentrating efforts on aliens who were convicted of serious crimes. That policy has already resulted in a major series of arrests, as ICE announced today. The agency arrested 2,901 people throughout the United States who had past criminal convictions, including more than 1,600 with felony convictions and 151 convicted sex offenders. It said some, but not all, of the defendants were also guilty of overstaying a visa, illegal entry or illegal reentry after deportation.

Unfortunately, it's unclear from the release whether all of the people arrested fell into the kind of high-risk category ICE meant when it announced its re-prioritization in August. Among the arrests the agency listed was one of a man who had been convicted of second-degree murder in 1975 and of fifth-degree sale of a controlled substance in 1995. Selling drugs is a crime, but many people would say it's not nearly as serious as the murder charge -- and that charge is more than 35 years old. If others among the 2,901 people arrested are also facing petty drug charges, this operation may be the waste of resources ICE was trying to prevent. As a Miami immigration violations lawyer, I strongly advise people with any kind of immigrant status to seek legal advice the second they get into legal trouble, because under the right circumstances, even a small crime can lead to their removal.

If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges related to immigration or that could hurt their immigration status, don't wait to call Seltzer Law, P.A. For a free, confidential case evaluation, send us an email or call anytime at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333).