ICE Raids Target Intoxicated Drivers For Deportation

Image courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 25 Long Islanders over a six-day period ending on November 9 throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties in what they call “Operation Secure Streets.”

Those arrested are being put on track to be deported, according to an ICE press release. Of those arrested, 24 were convicted of “violations concerning the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

Any action to make streets safer from those who would drive intoxicated is generally a positive step, but given ICE’s previously consistent targeting of those with minor violations, skepticism is warranted.

Among the arrested are nationals from Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Ukraine.

One Salvadoran, ICE claims, was identified as an MS-13 gang member.

In their statement, ICE says it conducts such operations on a daily basis throughout the country.

“During such enforcement operations ICE officers frequently encounter additional suspects who may be in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. Those persons will be evaluated on a case by case basis and, when appropriate, arrested by ICE,” the statement said.

As Long Island Wins has previously reported, ICE has come under fire for targeting those with minor offenses that sometimes do not even rise to the level of bonafide crimes or are innocently caught up as collateral arrests in ICE raids.

Immigration advocates also have public safety in mind, but emphasize that ICE tends to obfuscate the truth and may simply be conducting such actions for “good press.”

It’s clear that under the Trump administration, the agency has stepped up its enforcement not for the primary goal of ensuring public safety, but rather to enforce his mass deportation agenda.

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Jano Tantongco is the online editor of Long Island Wins. He's previously worked in community journalism as a staff reporter for The Long Islander and The Queens Courier. He aims to pursue truth through a combination of rational inquiry and intuition. He also enjoys bossa nova, road trips and zen philosophy.