ICE agents arrest 21 in four-day sweep in Colorado

DENVER – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 21 people in Colorado and five in Wyoming in an enforcement raid on undocumented immigrants that took place March 31-April 3.

ICE says all 26 people arrested had prior criminal convictions, and that 23 of them had previously been convicted of possessing or selling illegal drugs, domestic violence, DUI, illegal entry, larceny or sex offenses.

The agency gave no names of those arrested.

The 21 arrested in Colorado were arrested in various cities:

  • Arvada: 2
  • Aurora: 11
  • Commerce City: 3
  • Denver: 1
  • Frederick: 1
  • Thornton: 2
  • Yuma: 1

The five arrested in Wyoming were all taken into custody in Jackson.

ICE says that all the people were arrested were men between the ages of 18 and 56. Eighteen were Mexican nationals; four were Honduran; two were Salvadoran; one was from Costa Rica and one was from Indonesia.

The agency noted four specific cases of people who were arrested in the roundup who had previously been convicted of serious crimes or multiple DUIs.

ICE says all of them men arrested “were amenable to arrest and removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act” and that the agency “frequently encounter[s] other aliens illegally present in the United States” while conducting such operations.

“They are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and, when appropriate, they are arrested by ICE officers,” the agency says.

The announcement came on the same day many of Denver city officials sent a letter to the ICE Denver field office asking ICE agents to avoid “sensitive locations” like courthouses and schools when conducting their operations.

The latest operation comes as ICE has started putting out weekly updates targeting cities across the country that it says are “uncooperative” with President Donald Trump’s new immigration orders, the first of which targeted several cities in Colorado, including Denver.

It is part of an effort to strip federal funding so-called “sanctuary cities” that don’t cooperate with ICE agents, though Boulder is the only Colorado city with an official proclamation on the books that it is a sanctuary city.

And Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently called out a case in Denver involving a spat between Denver Sheriff Department officials and ICE agents over the release of an undocumented immigrant in December who later allegedly killed a man.

And at least two Denver-area undocumented women have sought refuge at Denver churches to avoid deportation. Churches have also often been considered sensitive locations.

“Our ICE enforcement operations improve public safety by removing criminal aliens from our communities, and drunk drivers from our roads,” said Jeffrey Lynch, field office director for ERO Denver. “This was a focused four-day operation, but our routine operations occur daily.”

ICE says most of those arrested in the latest sweep now have either pending deportations or will be deported once their charges have run the course through local or federal court systems.

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