13 May, 2017
The six-week operation was part of "Community Shield", an anti-gang program launched in 2005, and was lead by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) unit in conjunction with state and local agencies.
Of the arrests, 933 were USA citizens and 445 were foreign nationals, though ICE could not provide how many were in the United States lillegally.
Foreign nationals being arrested during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on February 7, 2017.
The agency said that 76 were arrested in San Antonio and south Texas.
But not all were accused of being gang members.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security logo is seen inside news conference room.
Scott Brown, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Phoenix, said the bust "dealt a serious blow to gang members and other serious criminals as we strive to make our communities safer". Half were federal offenses. "We are not done". 280 were arrested on immigration violations. Of them, 112 are gang affiliates, meaning that ICE had verifiable information that the person was associated with a gang. Four in Las Vegas were tied to local gangs and the fifth was affiliated with a Chicago group, she said. Nine of them were confirmed as gang members.
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Nationwide, the biggest gangs targeted were the Bloods, Sureños, the Crips and MS-13, an global gang with thousands of members in El Salvador, its command center.
A similar operation in March 2016 netted more than 1,100 arrests.
According to ICE, 1,095 of those arrested were confirmed gang members from gangs like the Bloods, Crips, MS-13 and the Surenos.
283 had no gang affiliation.
Three who were arrested were part of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals - DACA. He is presently awaiting extradition to Cook County to face the aggravated criminal sexual abuse charge there.
In February, ICE said enforcement actions then were planned before Trump's executive orders on illegal immigration.
ICE said that 10 people arrested during the newest operation crossed the border as unaccompanied minors, but did not elaborate on when.