A federal immigration “enforcement surge” across the Magic Valley area has resulted in the arrest of 22 immigration violators, including two who now face federal charges in Idaho. One of those two had previously been deported four times, and also had been convicted of cocaine possession. Six of those arrested had criminal histories, from drug possession to theft to domestic violence. Fifteen, including those six, had previously been ordered deported. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “fugitive operations teams” based in Boise and Salt Lake City made arrests starting Tuesday in nine Idaho communities including Burley, Buhl, Castleford, Hailey, Jerome, Rupert, Shoshone, Twin Falls and Wendell. Most of those arrested were from Mexico; there also was one each from Nicaragua, Honduras, Peru and Russia.
ICE spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said the two “most egregious violators” will be charged in federal court in Idaho with illegal re-entry after deportation. The other 22 are in ICE custody, where they’ll either face an immigration judge or be deported. “ICE is committed to smart and effective immigration enforcement that targets individuals who pose a threat to public safety,” said Steven M. Branch, field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations in Idaho. “ICE is committed to identifying those who come to the United States, commit crimes and blatantly disregard our nation’s laws.”