Fifty fugitives — some really bad actors — sought for their roles in known or suspected human rights violations were arrested this week by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during a nationwide dragnet.
During the operation that concluded Thursday, the ICE National Fugitive Operations Program in coordination with the ICE Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) and ICE National Criminal Analysis and Targeting Center (NCATC), arrested the fugitives via the ICE field offices of Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, St. Paul and Washington.
ICE said, “The foreign nationals arrested during this operation all have outstanding removal orders and are subject to repatriation to their countries of origin. Of the 50 known or suspected human rights violators arrested during Operation No Safe Haven II, 10 individuals are also convicted criminal aliens. This operation more than doubled the number of known or suspected human rights violators arrested during the first nationwide No Safe Haven operation, which took place in September 2014.
ICE among those arrested across the nation included:
- An individual from South America who assisted for many years in interrogations involving electric shock torture and who beat prisoners;
- An individual from Central America—an aggravated felon convicted of multiple US drug-related charges—who served as a military police officer for several years and turned over victims to a regime perpetrating documented human rights violations;
- An individual from East Africa who engaged in torture as an intelligence officer in a specific government regime known to perpetrate torture, murder, and other human rights violations;
- An individual from the former Yugoslavia who arrested and interrogated victims on behalf of a paramilitary organization dedicated to ethnic cleansing; and
- An individual from Asia who performed false sterilizations upon several female victim patients and supervised dozens of other false sterilizations and/or forced abortions upon other victim patients.
ICE said it “credits the success of this operation to the combined efforts of the National Central Bureau-Interpol Washington, US Marshals Service, Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, US Citizenship and Immigration Services and Customs and Border Protection.
ICE stated it’s “committed to rooting out known or suspected human rights violators who seek a safe haven in the United States. ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) investigates human rights violators who try to evade justice by seeking shelter in the United States, including those who are known or suspected to have participated in persecution, war crimes, genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, and the use or recruitment of child soldiers. These individuals may use fraudulent identities to enter the country and attempt to blend into communities in the United States.
Since fiscal year 2004, ICE has arrested more than 296 individuals for human rights-related violations under various criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders and physically removed more than 740 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Currently, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations has more than 140 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,800 leads and removal cases involving suspected human rights violators from 97 different countries.
Over the last four years, ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center has issued more than 67,000 lookouts for individuals from more than 111 countries and stopped 161 human rights violators or war crime suspects from entering the United States.
NCATC also provided critical investigative support for the latest fugitive arrests, including criminal and intelligence analysis from a variety of sources. NCATC provides comprehensive analytical support to aid the at-large enforcement efforts of all ICE components.
Members of the public who have information about foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to contact ICE by calling the toll-free ICE tip line at 1-866-347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also emailHRV.ICE@ice.dhs.gov or complete ICE’s online tip form.