ICE arrests 50 alleged human rights violators in nationwide raids
Immigration officials arrested 50 foreign nationals suspected of human rights violations in several cities across the U.S. in a series of raids this week, authorities said.
"Operation No Safe Haven II" involved arrests in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, St. Paul and Washington D.C. Agents also made arrests in Phoenix, a news release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.
All 50 suspects arrested had outstanding removal orders and were subject to deportation, and10 of them had previous convictions, ICE officials said.
"This operation more than doubled the number of known or suspected human rights violators arrested during the first nationwide No Safe Haven operation, which took place in September 2014," the release said.
Those arrested included four suspected of engaging in torture for different regimes, including two in Central America, one from East Africa, and another from the collapsed Yugoslavia.
ICE said that among those arrested was a suspect from South America who "assisted for many years in interrogations involving electric shock torture and who beat prisoners."
A second person, convicted of multiple drug charges in the United States, also served as a military police officer for several years in Central America for a government known for perpetuating human rights violations.
A third suspect was from East Africa and engaged in torture as an intelligence officer for a regime known for torture, murder, and other human rights violations. A fourth person, from the former Yugoslavia, supported a paramilitary organization dedicated to ethnic cleansing by arresting and interrogating victims.
Those arrested were not identified by ICE.
The arrests were part of the agency's Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center, which investigates people who have committed human rights violations and try to seek shelter in the United States. This includes those who have persecuted minorities, committed war crimes, genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, and recruited or used child soldiers, the agency said.
Since 2004, the agency said it has arrested 275 people for human rights violations and has denied entry visas to another 139.