Just after New Jersey’s attorney general announced rules restricting the state’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it arrested more than 100 in an operation in the state.
While ICE claimed the operation was pre-planned and not a result of the state’s new rules, the 105 arrests served as a reminder that the agency won’t be stopped when confronted with “sanctuary” policies.
For too long, the federal government has tried to drive a wedge between NJ law enforcement & our state’s immigrant communities.
We won’t let that happen.
Today, we’re issuing new rules to NJ’s 36,000+ officers to strengthen community trust. Read more at https://t.co/t87onYNzHZ
— AG Gurbir Grewal (@NewJerseyOAG) November 29, 2018
The vast majority of the arrestees came from Mexico and South America. Of those arrested, four had Interpol warrants for crimes committed in their home countries. Meanwhile, 80 percent, ICE said, had prior criminal convictions and/or pending criminal charges.
Their alleged crimes included promoting prostitution of a child, large-scale fraud, aggravated criminal sexual contact, and extortion.
John Tsoukaris, Field Office Director of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Newark, praised ICE officers for their commitment to public safety.
“These outstanding results, which were made possible by our officers and law enforcement partners, highlight the tremendous commitment that ICE ERO has to public safety throughout the state,” Tsoukaris said.
This was just the latest of many operations in the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration to the United States. Earlier this week, the agency announced 58 arrests in New England, where more than half of the arrestees had serious prior felony convictions.
ICE has repeatedly warned it will need to conduct “at-large” stings that could result in collateral arrests if states like New Jersey refused to cooperate with the agency’s request to detain suspected criminal immigrants.