Agency is often at odds with sanctuary-city release policies…
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested more than 10,000 illegal-alien gang members, including 2,000 from Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), the predominantly Salvadoran gang known for being savage.
During the Obama administration, arrests of illegal-alien gang members fell from 4,600 in 2012 to 1,580 in 2014.
Homeland Security Investigations—a division of ICE—operates the National Gang Unit, which investigates illegal-alien gang activity, ICE reported.
The work of the NGU “led to the seizure of more than 820 firearms and more than 5,500 pounds of illicit narcotics, including heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.”
Enforcement and Removal Operations—another division of ICE—then removes the illegal-alien gang members, many of whom have criminal convictions for heinous crimes such as “murder, extortion, narcotics and weapons trafficking, and human smuggling/trafficking.”
In 2018, ERO officers deported 5,872 illegal aliens who are known or suspected gang members, an increase of 9 percent from 2017.
Arrests have substantially increased during the Trump administration.
ICE had to conduct much of this public-safety-enhancing work without the aid of local governments due to their sanctuary city policies.
For example, city and county governments, in accordance with sanctuary city policies, released 142 suspected MS-13 gang members between November 2016 and June 2017. And this certainly underestimates the total number of illegal-alien gang members that sanctuary jurisdictions release, since many cities and counties do not record—or purposefully conceal—immigration status.
Despite the lack of local cooperation, HSI investigations and raids have proved successful.
A single investigation, known as Operation Blue Inferno, in Mendota, California, led to 15 arrests and the seizure of “six pistols, one SKS rifle, 270 rounds of ammunition, 65 machete/knives, $4,580 in United States currency, 120 cell phones, small amounts of narcotics and gang-related materials.”