Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested 24 men in McLean and Champaign Counties and elsewhere in Illinois and Missouri for what ICE officials call "egregious" immigration violations, including illegal immigrants who committed crimes in the U.S. and repeat immigration offenders. The arrests, made in a five-day roundup last week, were announced this week. Arrests occurred in the Missouri counties of St. Charles and New Madrid, and in the Illinois counties of Champaign, McLean, Effingham and Jackson. ICE says 15 of those arrested were criminals with convictions that include sexual misconduct, felonious restraint and other charges. Others arrested were fugitives with outstanding deportation orders. ICE says 14 of the suspects are from Mexico, nine from Guatemala and one from India. An immigration judge will determine whether suspect should be deported.
Meanwhile, an immigration reform advocacy group says the arrests obscure the larger scope of what ICE is doing. Jenn Carillo is with Illinois People's Action.
Carillo says most of those deported by ICE have no record or only minor traffic offenses against them. In addition at least one of the McLean County arrests cited by ICE involved a man not walking around free but, already held by local authorities on serious felony charges for more than three years.
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