The month of June has been a busy one for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). According to publicly available news releases from the agency's newsroom, large-scale operations resulted in over 500 arrests across the United States. These operations included targeted enforcement and removal procedures, worksite investigations, and human smuggling cases.
ICE is also involved in other non-immigration-related law enforcement responsibilities such as investigating and arresting producers and consumers of child pornography. Those arrests are not included in this post since they are unrelated to immigration, but are nonetheless an important part of ICE's day-to-day duties.
Enforcement and Removal (239)
Three large-scale immigration enforcement actions took place in June. Each targeted known criminal aliens and resulted in the arrests of 293 aliens: 40 from the state of New York, 91 throughout New Jersey, and 162 in Los Angeles.
As ICE has made clear throughout 2018, targeted operations such as this are undertaken throughout sanctuary jurisdictions, which deliberately limit their cooperation with ICE. Using information from ICE and the Justice Department, CIS has identified many cities and countries throughout both New Jersey and New York with sanctuary policies, and Los Angeles is a notorious sanctuary city.
Worksite Investigations (146)
Acting Director of ICE Thomas Homan has made worksite enforcement a priority throughout his tenure. In June, ICE targeted Ohio-based meat supplier Fresh Mark based on warrants they had alleging the company knowingly and deliberately hired illegal aliens. According to the ICE press release, "many of these aliens are utilizing fraudulent identification belonging to U.S. citizens."
ICE launched surprise investigations at four of the company's meatpacking locations. The 146 arrests from the operation were all from the company's Salem, Ohio, facility. Interestingly, Fresh Mark is a member of ICE's IMAGE Program, which requires members to use E-Verify and undergo internal I-9 audits yearly. These companies are described as "an example and role model in the business community [which highlight] the importance and viability of immigration compliance."
Despite their partnership with ICE through the IMAGE Program, Fresh Mark may have knowingly and deliberately hired illegal aliens.
Human Smuggling (101)
ICE is the lead U.S. law enforcement agency responsible for fighting human smuggling and human trafficking. Two events in Texas discovered 101 trafficked aliens. In Eagle Pass, ICE agents discovered 47 aliens hiding in a stash house, harbored by three U.S. citizens who were trafficking them into the country. The men, women, and children hailed from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, and Nicaragua.
In San Antonio, ICE agents arrested another American citizen who was found transporting 54 aliens from Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico. These aliens were being transported in a tractor trailer, an incredibly dangerous trafficking practice that endangers the aliens and frequently results in overheating and death. Fortunately, agents discovered the aliens before anyone died, but five individuals required hospitalization.
Last year, also in San Antonio, 10 people died from suffocation and heat exhaustion after being packed in the back of a tractor trailer with more than 100 other aliens and left in a Walmart parking lot.
Despite their demonization by many in the media, ICE agents work tirelessly to intercept large-scale human trafficking and prevent deaths and injury from common trafficking practices.
The breadth of ICE's activity in the month of June is a good snapshot into the agency's daily work fulfilling the agency's mission of promoting homeland security and public safety.