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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

Fact Sheet: ICE Enforcement in Arizona

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The following fact sheet was posted on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website, and includes a summary of ICE enforcement activity in Arizona, statistics on
enforcement and removal operations (ERO) from an average week in 2010, ERO
programs and initiatives, and information about ICE work site enforcement.

Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO)

During an average week in 2010, ERO officers:

  • Respond to 31 law enforcement agency calls that result in 121 arrests

  • Prosecute 29 foreign born individuals for criminal immigration violations

  • Arrest 251 foreign born individuals for immigration violations

  • Remove more than 1,500 foreign born individuals from the United States, 567 of whom have criminal convictions 

ERO programs and initiatives in Arizona include:

  • The Joint Criminal Alien Removal Task Force (JCART) which
    searches for at-large criminal aliens living in Arizona. From Oct. 1,
    2009 through July 31, 2010, JCART officers made 206 arrests, 152 of
    whom were convicted criminal aliens.

  • The Law Enforcement Agency Response (LEAR) unit, which is a
    dedicated unit of ICE agents focused on providing assistance to law
    enforcement requests for assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. From
    Oct. 1, 2009 through July 31, 2010, LEAR responded to 951 calls from
    more than 70 law enforcement agencies resulting in the arrest of 3,632
    illegal aliens.

  • The Violent Criminal Alien Section (VCAS), which works with the
    U.S. Attorney's Office to seek felony prosecution of criminal aliens
    who illegally reenter the United States after they have been deported.
    In the first ten months of this fiscal year, the VCAS unit has
    generated 886 prosecutions.

  • Detention management and removal operations, which helps maintain
    the integrity of our immigration system by ensuring compliance with
    immigration proceedings. The Phoenix Field Office maintains
    approximately 3,000 detention beds in Arizona, which are normally at 95
    percent capacity, and occupied by individuals from approximately 80
    different countries.

    • In FY 2008, ICE removed 76,450 aliens from Arizona, 15,156 of whom were convicted criminals.

    • In FY 2009, ICE removed 81,429 aliens from Arizona, 23,550 of whom were convicted criminals.

    • Through Aug. 2 of FY 2010, ICE removed 66,035 aliens from Arizona, 24,950 of whom were convicted criminals.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)

During an average week in 2010, HSI agents:

  • Arrest five people on charges related to human smuggling.

  • Investigate 3 drop houses, rescuing an average of 15 people in each house

  • Inspect the employment records of 526 people working for Arizona companies

  • Discover 53 people working unlawfully for Arizona companies

  • Seize 1 ton of marijuana, $104,000, 4 weapons and 5 vehicles

HSI significant investigations and initiatives in 2010

Operation In Plain Sight

  • Culminating in a statewide takedown with 47 criminal arrests,
    Operation Plain Sight was the largest human smuggling investigation in
    ICE history. The investigation began with commercial shuttle companies
    transporting smuggled aliens from Tucson to Phoenix on Interstate 10.
    Eventually, ICE expanded the investigation to include human smuggling
    operations in Nogales, Tucson and Phoenix with tentacles stretching
    across the United States.

Drop House Response Group (DHRG)

  • ICE established the Drop House Response Group in Phoenix to
    proactively seek out human smuggling organizations operating in the
    Phoenix area. So far this fiscal year, the DHRG has made 31 criminal
    arrests, rescued 276 aliens from drop houses and seized more than
    $23,000 from human smugglers.

Worksite Enforcement

  • ICE audited 59 Arizona businesses, resulting in the inspection of
    21,587 Forms I-9.  Of the 21,587 Forms I-9 inspected, agents
    determined that 2,177 employees presented "Suspect Documents."  25
    businesses were served a Warning Notice and 23 were served a Notice of
    Compliance based on the results of the Form I-9 audits.  ICE is
    currently preparing several Notices of Intent to Fine for other
    business audited in FY10. In FY 09, ICE fined six Arizona companies
    with fine notices totaling more than $270,000.

Illegal Drug Program

  • ICE established this cooperative program with the Government of
    Mexico to seek prosecution under Mexican law for marijuana smugglers
    caught at Nogales ports of entry. So far, ICE has referred 24 cases
    with 28 defendants to the Mexican Government for prosecution. Four
    defendants have been convicted and  are serving 10-year prison
    sentences. Two of the remaining cases have been dismissed and 18 are
    still pending.


  • ICE opened a new, permanent office in Ajo, Ariz. to provide
    criminal investigative support at the Lukeville Port of Entry and to
    further constrict the ability of smuggling organizations to maintain or
    establish operations along this important transportation corridor
    stretching from the border into Phoenix.

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