ICE arrests 77 in West Michigan
A four day operation conducted by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents in seven Michigan counties has resulted in the detention of 77 people accused of immigration crimes.
Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Fugitive Operations Teams (FOTs) from ICE hit Kent, Calhoun, Ottawa, Kalamazoo, Berrien, St. Joseph and Mason counties over four days, says a press release from the government.
According to that press release, here is the breakdown on the people arrested:
Of those taken into custody, 22 were aliens with prior criminal convictions, six had been previously deported who returned to the United States illegally after being removed, and 35 were immigration fugitives who failed to comply with a final order of deportation issued by an immigration judge. The remaining illegal aliens arrested were encountered by ERO officers during the course of the four-day operation…
The group included 64 males and 13 females from five different countries – Mexico (41), Guatemala (27), Honduras (7), Laos (1), China (1).
The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan agreed to prosecute four of the undocumented people who were deported, but returned to the United States.
The arrests came while Gov. Rick Snyder was delivering a State of the State address in which he outlined plans to harness legal immigration as part of a comprehensive economic development plan. During his speech, Snyder said he would encourage immigrants to come to Michigan to start businesses, something his Democratic opponent Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero touted during his campaign against Snyder.
“We are delighted to hear Governor Snyder embrace immigrants as a key part of Michigan’s economic recovery, and look forward to working with his administration. However, to achieve this worthy goal, we need to make sure that all of Michigan’s immigrants are protected against misguided and punitive enforcement. The entrepreneurs and engineers Governor Snyder would like to attract to our state will not feel welcome if Michigan embraces draconian Arizona-style laws. Immigrant workers and families are already paying a heavy price for our broken immigration system,” says Ryan Bates, director of Alliance for Immigrants Rights & Reform – Michigan.