U.S. Officials Arrest 2,100 Fugitives and Immigration Violators

Via USINFO.STATE.GOV
06/15/2006

Arrests made as part of Operation Return to Sender, agency says

By Michelle Austein
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington
— U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents apprehended
more than 2,100 immigration violators, gang members and fugitives in a
just-completed nationwide effort, according to Julie L. Myers,
assistant secretary for ICE. The initiative, called Operation Return to
Sender, began on May 26 and concluded June 13.

Of the 2,179
people arrested in the operation, about half had criminal records for
crimes including sexual assault, assault with a deadly weapon and
abduction.

“The fugitives captured in this operation
threatened public safety in hundreds of neighborhoods and communities
around the country,” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
“This department has no tolerance for their criminal behavior and we
are using every authority at our disposal to bring focus to fugitive
operations.”

The majority of those apprehended were arrested for
immigration violations. More than 800 of these people were sent back to
their home countries.

Those arrested on criminal charges will face trial in federal courts.

Those
arrested in the operation came from many countries, including Angola,
Bangladesh, Brazil, Cape Verde, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic,
Ecuador, El Salvador, Egypt, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala,
Honduras, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia,
Libya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal,
Senegal, Thailand, Uganda, the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan.

Operation
Return to Sender is the latest action taken as part of the Department
of Homeland Security’s interior immigration enforcement strategy. (See related article.)

The
interior enforcement strategy is part of the Secure Border Initiative,
a multiyear plan introduced by Chertoff to secure America’s borders and
reduce illegal migration. (See related article.)

The full text of a press release on Operation Return to Sender is available on the Department of Homeland Security Web site.

(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International
Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:
http://usinfo.state.gov)

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