Critics of President Trump’s policy to crack down on illegal immigrants with criminal records by putting them at the top of the deportation list are quick to call them “undocumented” rather than illegal, and claim they have come to the United States merely in search of a better life.

While that may be true of some of the millions who have made their way across the border without going through the formality of the legal procedures, many not only have been deported repeatedly, but have criminal records.

And now, as a part of the president’s effort to keep his campaign promise to enforce deportation laws already on the books, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency announced the arrest of 248 illegal aliens in three states – including 50 previous deportees.

The arrests were made by Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Delaware, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, including the sanctuary city of Philadelphia, during the 11-day period from Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 through Friday, Mar. 10, 2017.

Philadelphia is one of hundreds of cities and counties that refuses as a matter of policy to cooperate with ICE requests to for detainers on illegals in custody.

The mayors of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver and Austin have all made public statements confirming their commitment to remaining sanctuary cities despite the threat by President Trump that federal funding may be withdrawn for the refusal to comply with the law.

“ICE officers make extraordinary efforts to keep our communities safe, and this operation is just a small example of what they do every day. ERO officers took oaths to protect the homeland and to arrest individuals in violation of immigration laws,” said ERO Philadelphia Acting Field Office Director Jennifer Ritchey.

Ritchey added that the operation yielded multiple arrests of individuals who have criminal records.

“In the Philadelphia area, ICE arrested several at large criminal aliens in which the agency had issued detainers but the City of Philadelphia failed to honor them and released the individuals from custody — a situation that puts the public at unnecessary risk. ICE will continue to conduct targeted enforcement operations, whether local jurisdictions intend to cooperate with ICE or not,” said Ritchey.

Information about those taken into custody revealed that of the 248, 120 had a conviction and/or pending charges.

Another 50 had returned illegally to the United States after being previously deported.

At his first address to a joint session of Congress on February 28, as the unpublicized sweep was underway, President Trump announced the formation of a victim’s assistance group, VOICE – Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement – to support the families of those who lost loved ones or were themselves victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants.

Seated in the public gallery in the House of Representatives with First Lady Melania Trump and members of the First Family were mothers, fathers and children who had shared their stories with the president when he was on the campaign trail last year.

As the president spoke of the families’ losses and the VOICE initiative, senators and representatives on the Democrat side of the aisle booed.

 
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