the takedown

ICE Leads Raids, Deportations of Central Americans Who Entered Country Illegally

Declaring that “we must enforce the law” while acknowledging “there are many who loudly condemn our enforcement efforts as far too harsh, while there will be others who say these actions don’t go far enough” earlier this week Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson announced enforcement actions being taken against persons who entered the country illegally.

Over the New Year’s weekend, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and law enforcement partners conducted a nationwide operation to take into custody and return to their home countries, primarily in Central America, adults who entered the country illegally with children during the summer of 2014.

Those detained had exhausted their recourse for asylum or refugee status following legal proceedings, and their deportations therefore deemed appropriate consistent with enforcement of the nation’s laws.

ICE Director Sarah Saldaña oversaw the operation, which was supported and executed by Thomas Homan, head of ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

According to a DHS announcement of the operation, 121 individuals were taken into custody, primarily in Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina, and are being repatriated to their countries.

Sectetary Johnson said he “recognize[d] the reality of the pain that deportations do in fact cause,” but said that “we must enforce the law consistent with our priorities. At all times, we endeavor to do this consistent with American values, and basic principles of decency, fairness, and humanity.” 

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