Federal agents arrested 225 immigrants on Long Island and in New York City and the Hudson Valley over six days for violating U.S. immigration laws, officials said Tuesday.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said they arrested 21 people in Suffolk County and 16 in Nassau County over the period that ended Saturday.
Of the 225 arrested, more than 180 were convicted criminals or had criminal charges pending. Also of the 225, more than 80 had been issued a final order of removal and failed to depart the United States, or had been previously removed and returned illegally, ICE said in a news release Tuesday.
“ICE continues to face significant obstacles with policies created by local officials which hinder cooperation between ICE and local law enforcement,” Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations in New York, said in the news release. “Yet, with the tireless efforts of the men and women of ICE, this operation was a great success.”
Several of those arrested had felony convictions for child sex crimes, weapons charges and assault, officials said. Others had past convictions for significant or multiple misdemeanors.
The arrests lead to detention and deportation proceedings for all those arrested, with federal prosecution in some cases.
Walter Barrientos, Long Island organizer for the immigrant-advocacy group Make The Road New York in Brentwood, said his organization had been noticing increased arrests in the area in recent weeks.
“We continue to see clearly how this administration is committed to painting immigrants as criminals and excusing very inhumane practices,” Barrientos said. “When you look below the surface, as we are seeing with so many youth here on Long Island, they are getting charged as gang members with faulty evidence and sometimes no evidence at all other than somebody giving their name.”
Those arrested include people from Albania, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Trinidad, and Uzbekistan, federal officials said.
Among those apprehended is a 35-year-old Guatemalan in Brentwood who had been removed from the United States five times and has convictions for driving while intoxicated, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and illegal re-entry after removal.
In Hempstead, federal agents apprehended a Salvadoran, 40, who had previously been deported and has convictions for assault, burglary of a vehicle, attempted forcible touching, criminal possession of a controlled substance, and sexual abuse.
With Víctor Manuel Ramos