In the wake of hundreds of arrests in recent weeks of criminal aliens, immigration fugitives, re-entrants and other immigration violators as part of targeted enforcement operations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) Wednesday wrote Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly requesting information on two suspects – one in the US illegally who’d been issued anotice to appear in immigration court — who allegedly raped a young girl at Rockville High School in Rockville, Maryland.
Last Thursday, Jose Montano, 17, from El Salvador, and Henry Sanchez-Milian, 18, from Guatemala, allegedly forced a 14-year-old female student into a restroom at her school and subsequently raped and sodomized her. Border Patrol agents reportedly encountered Sanchez-Milian entering the United States illegally though the Rio Grande Valley Sector in August 2016 and was issued a notice to appear in immigration court, but a hearing date was never set.
Goodlatte said Sanchez-Milian’s entrance into the US coincides with the surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America that flooded the Southwest border during the Obama administration seeking to benefit from lax immigration enforcement.
In his letter to Kelly, Goodlatte said “the Department of Homeland Security has acknowledged that Border Patrol agents encountered Sanchez-Milian entering the United States illegally in August 2016 through the Rio Grande Valley. Apparently he was issued a notice to appear in immigration court, but no hearing date had yet been set.”
“Once again, we have an example of how the Obama administration’s lax immigration enforcement policies resulted in a life being seriously harmed – in this case, the life of an innocent 14 year-old-girl who was simply attending school,” Goodlatte told Kelly, adding, “There is no doubt that such heinous crimes by illegal immigrants who were encountered by the Obama administration, not removed by the Obama administration, and instead actually set free in American communities by the Obama administration, will continue to occur until sufficient enforcement has occurred.”
Continuing, he said, “Systematic and steady immigration enforcement is key to protecting American communities from dangerous criminals entering the country and committing crimes, and to ensuring that all foreign nationals understand that if they choose to put themselves in danger to make the long, and many times expensive, journey to the US, they will no longer be assured of being able to stay. Systematic and steady enforcement is the best deterrent to illegal immigration.”
However, he said, “Perhaps if Sanchez-Milian had known he would likely be deported, he would not have come to the US and the 14-year-old high school student would not have been assaulted.”
“That said,” Goodlatte told Kelly in his letter he wants the “case history information regarding Jose O. Montano and Henry E. Sanchez-Milian,” adding, “In addition, please explain what steps you are currently taking to prevent individuals like Montano and Sanchez-Milian from victimizing the American public.”
Hundreds arrested by ICE
Between Monday, February 27, 2017, through Friday, March 10, 2017, ICE arrested 248 criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants and other immigration violators in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware during a targeted enforcement operation. This operation targeted public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members and individuals who have violated he nation’s immigration laws, including those who re-entered the country after being deported and immigration fugitives ordered deported by federal immigration judges.
Earlier, Homeland Security Today disclosed in the report, Majority of Illegals Arrested in Routine ICE Enforcement Actions Are Criminal Aliens; Deportation Ops in Context, a series of routine targeted enforcement operations across the nation by ICE whichbegan Monday, February 6 in the Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, New York and San Antonio areas of responsibility resulted in more than 680 arrests of convicted criminal aliens and other immigration enforcement priorities. Seventy-five percent were criminal aliens convicted of crimes including, but not limited to, homicide, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual assault of a minor, lewd and lascivious acts with a child, indecent liberties with a minor, drug trafficking, battery, assault, DUI and weapons charges.
“ICE officers make extraordinary efforts to keep our communities safe, and this operation is just a small example of what they do every day,” said ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Philadelphia Acting Field Office Director Jennifer Ritchey. “ERO officers took oaths to protect the homeland and to arrest individuals in violation of immigration laws. This operation resulted in multiple arrests of individuals with violent criminal arrests or convictions in the three-state region.”
“In the Philadelphia area” during ICE’s targeted ERO operations in recent weeks, Ritchey said, “ICE arrested several at large criminal aliens in which the agency had issued detainers but the City of Philadelphia failed to honor them and released the individuals from custody — a situation that puts the public at unnecessary risk. ICE will continue to conduct targeted enforcement operations, whether local jurisdictions intend to cooperate with ICE or not.”
Ritchey noted that, “These regional operations may result in arrests of individuals other than those initially targeted. Many of these individuals were criminals who had illegally re-entered the United States, which is a crime under federal law. One of the most egregious individuals encountered during this operation that had not initially been targeted had been deported from the United States on two prior occasions and had a conviction for sexual abuse of a minor.”
During targeted enforcement operations, ICE officers frequently encounter additional suspects who may be in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. These persons will be evaluated on a case by case basis and, when appropriate, arrested by ICE.
Of the arrests, ICE said 120 had a conviction and/or pending charges, or 48 percent (88 of those arrested had criminal convictions and 32 of those arrested have pending criminal charges).
In addition, 50 had been previously removed from the United States and subsequently illegally re-entered. Six have been accepted for prosecution by United States Attorneys’ Offices for charges including re-entry after removal and document fraud. Eighteen were immigration fugitives with outstanding final orders of removal issued by a federal immigration judge.
- A 34-year-old male citizen of Guatemala, with criminal convictions for sexual abuse of a minor. The man has been removed from the United States on two prior occasions. The man has been detained without bond and has been referred to the US Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution. He’s currently in ICE custody at York County Prison.
- A 52-year-old male citizen of Lithuania with three criminal convictions for driving under the influence. Philadelphia Police Department arrested him on his fourth February 23, 2017. The man was released from Philadelphia Police custody on February 23, 2017 when a detainer lodged with Philadelphia authorities was not honored. The subject is being detained without bond pending immigration proceedings. He’s currently in ICE custody at York County Prison.
- A 65-year-old male citizen of Vietnam, with criminal convictions of three counts of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver marijuana, four counts of conspiracy, two counts of theft of services and one count of intentional possession of a controlled substance by person not regulated. The arrest resulted in the seizure of over 1,100 marijuana plants that were located in a vehicle and a residence owned by the subject. On May 13, 2016, Berks County Court of Common Pleas convicted him of felony charges, which include: one count of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver marijuana, one count of conspiracy and one count of theft of services. He is being held without bond pending removal proceedings. He’s currently in ICE custody at the San Antonio Field Office.
- A 22-year-old male citizen of Gambia who was previously arrested by the Philadelphia police for aggravated assault. The subject allegedly assaulted his girlfriend and attempted to force her upper body into a hot oven during a domestic dispute. An ICE detainer lodged with Philadelphia authorities was not honored. Criminal charges are pending. He’s currently in ICE custody at York County Prison.
ICE targets Nevada
Also in recent weeks, ICE ERO agents arrested more than 60 criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants and immigration fugitives in Nevada, including those who re-entered the country after being deported and immigration fugitives ordered deported by federal immigration judges.
A previously deported Mexican national with a prior conviction for armed robbery was among the 61 foreign nationals arrested during ICE ERO’s recent five-day operation in Nevada.
Of those arrested during the enforcement action, 55 had criminal histories, including prior convictions for sex crimes, drug offenses and domestic violence. In addition to the convicted armed robber, the group included a Salvadorian national with a final order of removal arrested in Reno who has prior convictions for assault, battery, drug possession and spousal battery; and an Iranian national felon arrested in Carson City whose criminal record includes a prior conviction for drug trafficking.
ICE said, “Some of the individuals arrested … will be presented for federal prosecution for re-entry after deportation, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Those not being criminally prosecuted will be processed for removal from the country. Individuals who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country.”
“ERO officers here in Nevada and around the country are focused first and foremost on using this agency’s unique tools and authorities to help keep our communities safe,” said Nikita Curry. Assistant Field Office Director for ERO in Nevada. “Our enforcement efforts … are representative of the work we’ve been doing and will continue to do.”
The arrestees included 54 men and seven women, included nationals from six countries – Mexico (45); Guatemala (6); El Salvador (3); Samoa (2); Armenia (1); Cuba (1); Honduras (1); Iran (1); and Italy (1).
ICE said, “Reno accounted for the largest number of arrests during the operation, but ERO personnel conducted enforcement actions in a total of 11 communities.”
More sex offenders arrested
A previously removed El Salvadoran man wanted in his home country for aggravated violation of a child was removed from the United States by ICE ERO agents.
ERO’s Washington, DC-based Fugitive Operations Team arrested Henry Parada-Orellana, 26, September 1, 2015 in Springfield, Virginia. Upon his arrest, ERO deportation officers charged Parada-Orellana with felony re-entry charges since he was a previously removed alien. ERO officers previously removed Parada-Orellana to El Salvador in February 2009 and April 2013. He was sentenced to 77 days in federal prison in November 2015, and upon his release, was transferred back to ICE custody. Prior to his removal, he was detained at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail in Williamsburg, Virginia.
In addition to the felony conviction, Parada-Orellana also has convictions for misdemeanor crimes he committed while in the United States.
“Our deportation officers dutifully uphold US immigration laws. They ensure those who pose threats to the safety of our communities, especially our children, do not remain in our country,” said Yvonne Evans, field office director for ERO Washington, DC. “Alleged sex offenders cannot use the United States as a safe haven.”
ERO deportation officers removed Parada-Orellana from the United States onboard an ICE Air Operations charter flight to San Salvador International Airport in El Salvador. There, ERO deportation officers transferred Parada-Orellana to the custody of El Salvadoran law enforcement officials.
In the New York area, ICE arrested eight sex offenders during daily enforcement actions during a two-day period ending March 7.
ICE said, “In the course of normal targeted enforcement activities, ERO officers apprehended eight individuals with past criminal convictions ranging from sexual abuse to attempted rape. Each was taken into custody and is currently being detained pending the completion of removal proceedings."
"ERO officers are out there every day enforcing immigration law with targeted enforcement actions. These actions focus our resources on the most egregious offenders and promote public safety in the communities in which we live and work,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for New York. “Being able to note the accomplishments of our day-to-day enforcement activities, outside of operations, highlights ICE’s constant commitment to make our communities safer."
Among those arrested were:
- A 45-year-old Ecuadorian man with a prior conviction of the crime of sexual abuse in the first degree in the County Court of the State of New York, County of Nassau and was sentenced to four months imprisonment and ten years’ probation. The victim of the crime was a female who was 22 years old. He was arrested March 6 and will remain in ICE custody pending removal from the United States.
- A 38-year-old Dominican man with a prior conviction of the crime of attempted rape in the 3rd degree in the County Court of the State of New York, County of Nassau and was sentenced to 6 years’ probation. The victim of the crime was a female who was 15 years old. He was arrested March 6 and will remain in ICE custody pending removal from the United States.
- A 48-year-old Mexican man with prior convictions of the crime of promote a sexual performance by a child and possessing sexual performance by a child in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York and was sentenced to six months incarceration and ten years of supervised probation on each count, to run concurrently. He was arrested in Brooklyn March 6 and will remain in ICE custody pending removal from the United States.
- A 32-year-old citizen and national of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with a prior conviction of the crime of sexual abuse 3rd degree in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York and was sentenced to a Conditional Discharge and an Order of Protection. The victim of the crime was a 16 year old female. He was arrested in New York, March 6 and will remain in ICE custody pending removal from the United States.
- A 39-year-old Honduran man with a prior removal from the United States and a prior conviction of the crime of attempted forcible touching in the County Court of the State of New York, County of Nassau. He was arrested March 7 and will remain in ICE custody pending removal from the United States.
- A 24-year-old Guatemalan man with a prior conviction of the crime of attempted rape in the County Court of the State of New York, County of Nassau and sentenced to 10 years’ probation. He was arrested March 7 and will remain in ICE custody pending his removal from the United States.
- A 36-year-old Salvadoran man with prior convictions of the crime of forcible touching in the County Court of the State of New York, County of Suffolk and petit larceny. He was arrested March 7, and will remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.
- A 25-year-old Ecuadorian man with prior convictions of the crime of criminal sex act 2nd degree by the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Queens and was sentenced to ten years of supervised probation. He was arrested March 7, and will remain in ICE custody pending removal from the United States.
ICE said, “The foreign nationals arrested will be processed administratively for removal from the United States. The arrestees who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future. In fiscal year 2016, ICE conducted 240,255 removals nationwide. Ninety-two percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.”