U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Monday the arrests of 25 people sought for deportation in a crackdown on Long Island.
Officials said 24 of them have prior convictions for operation of a motor vehicle while drunk or impaired by drugs.
At least one is an MS-13 gang member, officials said, adding that some of those arrested may have returned to the United States illegally following prior deportations and removals.
The arrests were part of ICE’s targeted enforcement operations, focusing on immigrants the agency deems deportable because they have run afoul of criminal law or have committed violations of immigration laws.
The arrestees, who are all slated for removal to their home countries, are from Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and the Ukraine, federal officials said.
The arrests were made in Amityville, Bay Shore, Calverton, Central Islip, Coram, Hampton Bays, Huntington, Medford, Moriches, Patchogue, Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma, Riverhead, Sag Harbor, Shirley, West Babylon and Wheatley Heights, as part of the crackdown called Operation Secure Streets.
“This operation targeted those who were convicted of driving under the influence, some with children in the car, solidifying ICE’s commitment to remove public safety threats from our communities,” ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations New York field office director Thomas R. Decker said in a statement.
None of the arrestees were named by ICE, though some of the arrests were described in a news release, among them:
- A 41-year-old man from Guatemala, previously removed after having been convicted of DWI. Arrested in Patchogue on Nov. 4.
- A 40-year-old man from Brazil, previously removed after having been convicted of DWI. Arrested in Ronkonkoma on Nov. 5.
- A 31-year-old man from Guatemala with prior convictions for DWAI and second-degree criminal trespass. Arrested in Riverhead on Nov. 6.
- A 35-year-old man from Honduras with a prior conviction for third-degree assault. Arrested in Hempstead on Nov. 7.
- A 40-year-old Salvadoran man, identified as an MS-13 member, with a prior DWI conviction for DWI. Arrested in Shirley on Nov. 7.
Patrick Young, program director with the Central American Refugee Center, an immigrant-advocacy group in Hempstead and Brentwood, said while “no one wants the unsafe operation of vehicles” there was little information to go on how the agency identified the immigrants it targeted.
“What concerns us is there’s a lot of a great deal of discussion among us about what these operations in fact are and that ICE’s lack of any transparency doesn’t help us in understanding them,” Young said. “They tend to brand them as gang members or public safety threats when most of the people we see coming for help don’t have those indicators.”
An agency spokeswoman cited privacy rules in not issuing detailed lists of people arrested for deportation.
With Víctor Manuel Ramos