Immigration officials make 36 arrests in 5-day operation

Posted: Updated:
MIDDLESEX COUNTY -

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents made dozens of arrests in Middlesex County as part of a five-day operation that ended Friday.

ICE officials say that officials arrested 36 “criminal aliens who were previously incarcerated at the Middlesex County Jail.” Jail officials released these individuals without notifying ICE or honoring the ICE detainer, officials say.

The people arrested range in age from 19 to 62 years old and come from 15 different countries: Anguilla, Belize, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Kenya, Mexico, Paraguay, Philippines, Trinidad and Turkey.

Those arrested are accused of a variety of crimes including DUI, burglary and sexual assault of a minor.

Everyone arrested during the raids had previously been convicted or arrested for a crime, according to officials.

“The continued results of our Fugitive Operations officers underscore ICE’s ongoing and steady commitment to public safety,” John Tsoukaris, field office director of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Newark said in a statement. “Counties like Middlesex that have policies specifically tailored to protect criminal aliens and in essence assist criminals in undermining federal law, not only create a dangerous environment in the community, but also place an undue burden on local law enforcement. ICE will continue to execute its mission in such communities.”

The arrests come as discussion of sanctuary cities is ramping up in the New Jersey gubernatorial race.

Democratic candidate Phil Murphy said during a debate that he would like to see New Jersey become a sanctuary state. Republican candidate Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno said Monday that she would like to see a ban on sanctuary cities in the Garden State.

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