(ESPAÑOL) Immigration agents rounded up 84 people during a three-day operation in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.
The operation ended Monday and targeted criminals residing in the U.S. illegally, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Seattle field office said in a statement.
It was the region’s biggest immigration roundup in recent memory. Last summer, agents arrested 19 people in a similar sweep in northwestern Washington state.
Those arrested included 77 men and seven women from 12 countries, the vast majority of them from Mexico. Nineteen had drunken driving convictions, and 14 had been convicted of assault, sex offenses or domestic violence. Some will be prosecuted for illegally re-entering the country while the rest face deportation proceedings. In all, 60 of them had criminal records.
“This operation highlights our commitment to promoting public safety through the pursuit of targeted criminals residing in the U.S. illegally,” Bryan Wilcox, acting field office director ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations in Seattle, said in the release.
Among those arrested was Francisco J. Rodriguez Dominguez, a participant in a federal program designed to protect from deportation those who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Rodriguez Dominguez was brought to the U.S. from Morelia, in Mexico’s Michoacan state, at age 5.
Last December, he entered a diversion program following a drunken driving arrest and had attended all his court dates and required meetings, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, which publicized his arrest earlier.
The organization suggested Rodriguez’ arrest represented an erosion of protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program amid President Donald Trump’s call to boost deportations.
ICE said it targeted him because of the DUI. The Department of Homeland Security can terminate DACA status if it determines someone is a risk to public safety.
Rose Richeson, an ICE spokeswoman, said she did not have information on whether anyone else arrested in the operation had participated in DACA. She referred an inquiry to Sharon Rummery, a spokeswoman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, who also said she did not have the information.