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ICE Fugitive Operations Team Arrests 88 illegal aliens in New Orleans
Arrests are part of ongoing Department of Homeland Security initiative

From: U.S. Customs Enforcement (ICE)    Filed 4/23/07 GCN

NEW ORLEANS – A weeklong detention and removal effort culminated here on Friday with the arrest of 88 fugitives and illegal aliens.  The operation was part an ongoing initiative dubbed “Return to Sender,” and the arrests came as the result of a targeted enforcement action by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in Orleans and Jefferson Parish. 

Some of those arrested have previous felony convictions for crimes including lewd and lascivious assault, domestic abuse, fraud and grand theft. Others were in the country illegally and charged with immigration violations.

“Taking criminal aliens off our streets is a critical component of our nation's border security measures,” said Trey Lund, Field Office Director of ICE's Detention and Removal Office in New Orleans. “Illegal aliens who defy the removal order of a U.S. Immigration Judge should be on notice that we are continuing to dedicate significant resources toward locating, targeting and arresting them and removing them from the country.  We cannot and will not allow such individuals to remain in the U.S. in violation of our laws.”

During the operation, ICE officers arrested Juan Carlos Alvarez-Alvarado, 28, from Honduras. He was convicted in April 2004 for possession of marijuana in San Antonio, Texas.  An Immigration Judge in San Antonio issued an order of removal for Alvarez –Alvarado at that time and he was removed to Honduras. In January 2006, Alvarez-Alvarado illegally re-entered the United States at an unknown location. ICE has reinstated the prior order of removal. 

Those arrested were from Romania, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Operation Return to Sender is an integral part of the Secure Border Initiative (SBI), a comprehensive multi-year plan launched by the Department of Homeland Security to secure America's borders and reduce illegal migration. Under SBI, Homeland Security seeks to gain operational control of both the northern and southern borders, while re-engineering the detention and removal system to ensure that illegal aliens are removed from the country quickly and efficiently. SBI also involves strong interior enforcement efforts, including enhanced worksite enforcement investigations and intensified efforts to track down and remove illegal aliens inside this country.

Of the 88 illegal aliens arrested last week, 13 were fugitive aliens. Lund thanked U.S. Customs and Border Protection for their assistance during the operation.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was established in March 2003 as the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.  ICE is comprised of five integrated divisions that form a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities.

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