U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 39 individuals suspected of human rights violations.
An ICE press release said the arrests of 30 men and nine women were part of Operation No Safe Haven, which took place nationwide between August 27 and 29. ICE partnered with local offices in major cities across the country to find and arrest the fugitives. The agency explained that the 39 suspects were foreign nationals with outstanding removal orders. From the press release:
Of the 39 known or suspected human rights violators arrested during Operation No Safe Haven V, 16 individuals are also criminal aliens in the U.S. with convictions for crimes including, but not limited to, domestic violence, driving under the influence of liquor, drug distribution, firearm possession, grand theft, reckless endangerment, robbery, fraud and theft. Their countries of origin include: El Salvador, Guatemala, China, Liberia, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, Colombia, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, and Sudan. This operation more than doubled the number of known or suspected human rights violators arrested during the first nationwide No Safe Haven operation, which took place in September 2014.
“ICE will not allow war criminals and human rights abusers to use the U.S. as a safe haven,” said Acting Director Matthew Albence. “We will never stop looking for them and we will never cease seeking justice for the victims of their crimes.”
ICE went on to describe some of the crimes involving the individuals. Fourteen were implicated in “the capture, arrest and/or transport of civilians who were subsequently mistreated, and in some cases, beaten, electrocuted, and killed.”
Four other fugitives — from China — were arrested for collaborating with the country’s government “to assist in forced abortions and sterilizations against victims.” Four more, from West Africa, were implicated in “a range of atrocities,” from massacres and mutilations to recruiting child soldiers.
One unnamed individual from Europe was “implicated in human rights abuses against political opponents through work with a security agency,” though no specifics were given.
ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center assisted in the operation, and is dedicated to capturing human rights violators “who try to evade justice by seeking shelter in the United States, including those who are known or suspected to have participated in persecution, war crimes, genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, severe violations of religious freedom, female genital mutilation/cutting and the use or recruitment of child soldiers.”
Meanwhile, politicians like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) suggest we should “abolish” ICE because of how illegal immigrants are treated at the border after an influx in illegal border crossings over the past few years.