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posted: 11/6/2012 11:14 AM

31 arrested during ICE sweep

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested 31 people as part of a sweep targeted at removing repeat criminal aliens, officials said.

ICE officials said the criminals, immigration fugitives and immigration violators were arrested during a two-day sweep by ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations teams in Chicago that concluded Sunday.

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Of the 31 people arrested, ICE officials said in a news release Tuesday that 26 had prior convictions for crimes such as aggravated assault, domestic battery, weapon offenses, aggravated drunken driving, burglary and drugs.

In addition, 13 of the 31 were immigration fugitives who had been previously ordered to leave the country but failed to depart.

Officials added that six of those arrested had been previously removed from the country and illegally re-entered the United States.

Twenty-two of the arrestees are from Mexico, two from Nigeria and the rest from Germany, Poland, Guatemala and Honduras, among others.

Most of the arrests were in Chicago, but some took place in Addison, Naperville, Cicero, Bolingbrook, and Waukegan.

Included in the arrests was a 51-year-old Mexican national with prior criminal convictions for aggravated assault of a police officer, who illegally re-entered the United States after being deported.

He was arrested Nov. 3 at his Naperville residence, but remains in ICE custody pending removal to Mexico.

ICE officials did not release his name, as the incident remains under investigation.

"ERO officers will continue to work tirelessly to improve the public safety in the Chicago area by locating, apprehending and removing at-large criminal aliens and repeat immigration violators who have blatantly disregarded the immigration laws," said Ricardo Wong, field office director for ICE in Chicago.

"With targeted enforcement operations, we are focusing our resources on the most egregious offenders while improving public safety for law-abiding residents in our communities."

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