(CMC) – The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) says it has completed an immigration enforcement activity resulting in the arrest of 54 immigration violators, including a number of Caribbean nationals, throughout the New York City Metropolitan Area and the neighbouring counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Dutchess, Ulster and Westchester in New York.
ICE said that among the immigrants arrested in New York were nationals from the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica and St Lucia.
It said the nationwide, week-long immigration enforcement activity focused on targeting and arresting individuals in sanctuary cities.
“Sanctuary city” is a broad term applied to jurisdictions, or cities, that have policies in place designed to limit cooperation with or involvement in US federal immigration enforcement actions.
Since assuming office, almost four years ago, US President Donald Trump has made sanctuary cities a principal target of his administration, regularly attacking them and testing his administration’s authority to punish them.
ICE said the New York arrests included charges filed for assault, sexual assault against a child, lewd and lascivious acts upon a child, rape and criminal possession of a loaded firearm.
Other charges included criminal possession of stolen property, driving while intoxicated, robbery and grand larceny.
ICE said of the more than 50 immigrants arrested, more than 30 were released from local law enforcement custody, eight had outstanding removal orders; eight were previously removed or deported; five were criminally prosecuted; two were active gang members; and one was a foreign fugitive.
ICE said all but two of the individuals arrested had criminal histories in the US.
ICE said that all individuals arrested during the immigration enforcement activity will remain in its custody pending the outcome of their removal proceedings before an immigration judge.
Meanwhile, the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is warning against what it described as “a dangerous” increase in Caribbean migrants using makeshift wooden vessels known as “yolas” to enter Puerto Rico.
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and implementation of several travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the disease, human smugglers continue to place migrants in harm’s way,” said CBP, adding that “yolas crowded with people and not suitable for navigation, continue to be used to traffic people into Puerto Rico.”
CBP has said that many of these migrants were from the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
On Sunday, CBP said the authorities detained four undocumented Caribbean migrants, including one woman, after disembarking on Middles Beach in Isabela.
This past week, CBP said 66 undocumented migrants were detained in the Caribbean Sea by authorities under the Caribbean Border Initiative (CBIG) and were repatriated to the Dominican Republic.