You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

ICE officials: 24 in Austin-Waco arrested in new immigration sweep


Highlights

ICE agents arrested 153 people, including 24 in the Austin-Waco area, during a recent sweep, officials said.

All of the people arrested had previous criminal convictions, officials said.

The operation differed in execution and results from a controversial ICE raid in February.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents say they arrested 153 people in Texas suspected of being in the country illegally — including 24 people picked up in the Austin-Waco area — as part of the second enforcement operation immigration officials have confirmed in the state this year.

The 12-day operation, which lasted from March 20 to March 31, differed in execution and results from another one performed in the area during the second week of February.

That raid was part of the nationwide Operation Cross Check, and it lasted four days and resulted in 51 arrests in the Austin-San Antonio area — twice as many as the March sweep. And while the February raid generated fear and anxiety in the immigrant community for days before it was confirmed, the March operation didn’t appear to cause such a stir.

ICE officials also said all of the people arrested in last month’s operation had previous criminal convictions, as opposed to the February raid. Federal documents obtained by the American-Statesman showed 28 of the 51 people arrested in February were deemed “non-criminals,” or people with no previous criminal convictions but suspected of living in the country illegally.

RELATED: Austin No. 1 in U.S. — for non-criminals arrested in ICE raids

U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin said in open court last month that ICE agents alerted him and another federal judge about the February raid, which they said was retribution for the new Travis County sheriff’s policy limiting the jail’s cooperation with immigration officials, the Statesman reported last month.

ICE officials declined Friday to comment further on the arrests, but in a news release, Daniel Bible, field office director for enforcement and removal operations in San Antonio, said: “ICE’s primary immigration enforcement efforts target convicted criminal aliens. … Consequently, our operations improve overall public safety by removing these criminals from our streets, and ultimately from our country.”

Local activists criticized the new operation.

“I think this continues a trend of ICE instilling fear in our community and … arresting more people in our community,” said Bob Libal, with the Austin-based immigration support network Grassroots Leadership.

Those arrested in the March sweep included foreign nationals from five countries: 140 from Mexico, seven from Honduras, three from Guatemala, two from Canada and one from El Salvador.

The operation resulted in arrests by officers in the following San Antonio field office cities: 24 in Austin-Waco, 62 in San Antonio, 29 in Laredo and 38 in Harlingen.

Of those arrested, 138 were men, and 15 were women.

Federal officials said 33 people will face criminal prosecution on charges of re-entry after deportation.

Those who have outstanding orders of removal, or who illegally re-entered the U.S. after being deported, are subject to immediate removal, according to immigration officials.

Those remaining in ICE custody are awaiting a hearing before a federal immigration judge or travel arrangements for removal.

Officials with the Austin Police Department and Travis County sheriff’s office said ICE agents did not notify them about plans for the March operation.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Authorities: North Texas mother left 2 kids in hot car as punishment
Authorities: North Texas mother left 2 kids in hot car as punishment

A North Texas woman told investigators that she left her 2-year-old daughter and 16-month-old son in a hot car where they died last month to teach the girl a lesson and that they didn’t lock themselves in, as she initially reported, according to sheriff’s officials. Cynthia Marie Randolph, 24, was being held Saturday on two counts of causing...
Anti-bullying program for students draws praise
Anti-bullying program for students draws praise

Damion Govea, 12, knows the good kids from the bad at Metro Elementary School of Design. He’s been in class with them long enough to tell them apart, he said. Damion is a good kid. And for his good behavior, he was cherry-picked from his homeroom class to participate in an anti-bullying program that grouped them all together for one hour, once...
Weekend storms cool down Central Texas after Friday’s record heat
Weekend storms cool down Central Texas after Friday’s record heat

Cloud cover and a significant drop in temperature made Friday’s record-setting 104-degree heat at Camp Mabry just a memory on Saturday, with thunderstorms and a forecast in the 80s expected for the rest of the weekend. For Sunday, scattered thunderstorms are expected throughout the day with a low of 73 and a high of 89 with an 80 percent chance...
Deion Sanders partners with Koch brothers in anti-poverty campaign
Deion Sanders partners with Koch brothers in anti-poverty campaign

Retired football star Deion Sanders is partnering with the conservative Koch brothers to help fight poverty in Texas. The unlikely partnership, announced Saturday, will raise $21 million over the next three years to fund anti-poverty programs in Dallas. Sanders joined Koch donors at a weekend conference in Colorado Springs, Colo., to help raise money...
New St. David’s Foundation leader selected at pivotal time
New St. David’s Foundation leader selected at pivotal time

The announcement of William Buster to oversee the St. David’s Foundation’s grant-making work marks a milestone in Austin philanthropy. Not only does he replace the influential Bobbie Barker, but he also takes on the role as the foundation has become the largest grant-maker in Central Texas. “I kind of feel like the dog that caught...
More Stories