Houston, Texas - Federal Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 45 illegal aliens in the Houston area for violating U.S. immigration laws during a five-day enforcement action, which ended Friday.

The local enforcement operation targeted at-large criminal aliens, many of whom had absconded from prior immigration proceedings.  

Of the individuals arrested during the operation, 15 had previously been removed (deported) and 42 had prior criminal convictions. Several had felony convictions for serious or violent criminal offenses, such as rape, child exploitation, robbery, drug trafficking and assault.

“Our primary focus with conducting targeted immigration enforcement operations is to improve public safety by removing criminal aliens from our local communities,” said ERO Houston Field Office Director Pat Contreras. “The dedicated immigration enforcement officers who conducted the operation did just that by taking 42 dangerous criminal aliens off the streets.”

ERO deportation officers made arrests throughout the Houston area including the following Texas cities:  Houston (26), Conroe (9), Cleveland (2), Alvin (1), Tomball (1), the Woodlands (1), Texas City (1), Channelview (1), Clearlake (1), Baytown (1) and Bellville (1). Individuals arrested during the operation included nationals from Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina, Cuba, Nigeria, India, Chile and Turkey.

Some of those arrests included the following:

  • In Houston, a 29-year-old Turkish national convicted of child exploitation;
  • In Houston, a previously removed 43-year-old Honduran national convicted of rape;
  • In Houston, a 44-year-old Cuban national convicted of burglary; and
  • In Tomball, a twice-removed 46-year-old Mexican national convicted of burglary and drug trafficking.

Some of the individuals arrested during the operation will face federal criminal prosecution for illegal entry and illegal re-entry after deportation. Arrestees who are not being federally prosecuted, will be detained in ICE custody and administratively processed for removal from the U.S.

To make our communities safer, ICE deportation officers carry out targeted enforcement operations every day in locations around the country as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to uphold public safety and protect the integrity of our nation’s immigration laws.