NEWARK — Over the course of five days last week, immigration officials rounded up more than 100 foreign nationals from three dozen counties who they say are in the United States illegally. Among those arrested were a man convicted of raping a child.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Tuesday that the operation was "targeting at-large criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants and other immigration violators." The arrests were carried out by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations unit and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's New Jersey Field Office.

Several of the people arrested had been convicted of sex crimes, including a Turkish citizen convicted of having child pornography, a Peruvian citizen convicted  of invasion of privacy for recording a sexual act without consent, and a Spanish citizen convicted of storing or maintaining child pornography.

Others were charged with violent or drug-related crimes, including an Egyptian convicted of possessing heroin and a Korean convicted of dealing cocaine.

"As part of this operation, we continue focus on the arrest of individuals who are criminal and are a threat to public safety and national security. Because of the tireless efforts of these professional officers, there are 101 fewer criminals in our communities," ERO Newark office director John Tsoukaris said.

Arrests were made in 14 counties:

  • Atlantic County: 2
  • Bergen County: 6
  • Burlington County: 7
  • Camden County: 11
  • Cumberland County: 3
  • Essex County: 14
  • Hudson County: 15
  • Mercer County: 6
  • Middlesex County: 11
  • Monmouth County: 3
  • Morris County: 1
  • Passaic County: 9
  • Somerset County: 4
  • Union County: 6

Those arrested came from the following countries:

  • Dominican Republic — 18
  • Mexico — 15
  • Honduras — 8
  • El Salvador — 7
  • Guatemala — 6
  • Colombia — 4
  • Cuba — 4
  • Brazil — 3
  • Costa Rica — 3
  • Guyana — 3
  • Haiti — 3
  • Ecuador — 2
  • Egypt — 2
  • Korea — 2
  • Peru — 2
  • Philippines — 2
  • Spain — 2
  • Turkey — 2
  • Congo — 1
  • Ethiopia — 1
  • Georgia — 1
  • Jamaica — 1
  • Liberia — 1
  • Nicaragua — 1
  • Nigeria — 1
  • Pakistan — 1
  • Portugal — 1
  • United Kingdom — 1
  • Ukraine — 1
  • Venezuela — 1
  • Vietnam — 1

The ICE press release said the arrests in New Jersey came as part of a 40 percent spike in administrative arrests across the country over the past year. Of those arrests, 92 percent of the people taken into custody were either convicted criminals, facing criminal charges, were a fugitive from ICE, or had re-entered the country illegally.

Immigration officials came under fire last week after they deported a man who had lived in New Jersey since he was 2 years old.

Municipal and local law enforcement officials in some cities across the country have criticized the federal practice of arresting suspected unauthorized immigrants at courthouses, which they say has caused many in immigrant communities to fear cooperating with police or court proceedings.

More From New Jersey 101.5

 

Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

Sign up for the NJ1015.com Newsletter

Get the best of NJ1015.com delivered to your inbox every day.