Immigration officers arrested 32 men who were living on Long Island and were sought for deportation for serious sexual offenses, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Tuesday.
The “Sex Offender Alien Removal” initiative, also known as Operation SOAR, targeted for removal from the country immigrants with past convictions on a range of charges from sexual abuse to rape, including 12 who were registered sex offenders. While not all were in the United States illegally, those who were permanent residents had become subject to deportation as a result of their convictions, an ICE spokeswoman said.
The men were arrested during a 10-day period that ended Thursday, as the agency’s Enforcement and Removal Operations agents fanned out across Nassau and Suffolk counties to places where those immigrants were known to reside, the agency said.
Thomas R. Decker, director of ICE’s New York Field Office that covers Long Island, said the arrests exemplified the agency’s “continuing commitment to making our communities safer” by targeting immigrants with criminal records.
“These actions focus our resources on the most egregious criminals and promote public safety in the communities in which we live and work,” Decker said in a statement.
The emphasis on deporting criminals is consistent with President Donald Trump’s promise to deport immigrants who run afoul of the law alongside those living illegally in the United States.
The agency did not disclose any names because of privacy concerns, but listed the nationalities and crimes committed by some of the most egregious sex offenders on the list.
Those apprehended by ICE include a 24-year-old Salvadoran man arrested in Wyandanch and charged with sexual abuse and sexual contact with a 4-year-old girl; a 36-year-old Guatemalan man arrested in Brentwood who was registered as a Level 1 sex offender over a conviction of second-degree rape and endangering the welfare of a child for abuse involving a 13-year-old girl; a 32-year-old Honduran man arrested in Brentwood who was convicted of a criminal sexual act in the third degree, among other charges, for a case involving a 15-year-old girl; and a 38-year-old Ecuadorean man arrested in Central Islip who had a prior conviction for sexual misconduct involving a 15-year-old girl.
Others apprehended were a 55-year-old Salvadoran man arrested in Copiague who was convicted of second-degree rape of a 12-year-old victim; a 21-year-old Haitian man arrested in Riverhead who had prior convictions of promoting a sexual performance involving two 15-year-old victims; a 36-year-old Salvadoran man arrested in Glen Cove who had been convicted of third-degree rape of a 15-year-old victim; a 46-year-old Salvadoran man arrested in Mineola who had a conviction for endangering the welfare of a child in a case involving a 7-year-old victim; and a 45-year-old national of Trinidad and Tobago arrested in East Hampton who was convicted of third-degree rape and registered as a Level 1 sex offender for abuse involving a victim incapable of consent.
The arrests took place throughout the Island, the agency said, with suspects taken from East Meadow, Franklin Square, Garden City, Glen Cove, Mineola, Port Washington, Roosevelt, Uniondale and Westbury in Nassau County; and Amityville, Bay Shore, Brentwood, Central Islip, Copiague, Deer Park, East Hampton, Hampton Bays, Islip, Islip Terrace, Riverhead, Wyandanch and Yaphank in Suffolk County.
They were immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Mexico, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago, the agency said.
ICE spokeswoman Rachael Yong Yow said those men “either have a final order of removal” related to prior convictions and immigration offenses, “or they will go before an immigration judge” to be expelled from the United States.