ICE Used DUI Records to Arrest Illegal Immigrants in Nationwide Sweep

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ICE agents using fingerprints from drunken driving arrests have swept up 141 illegal immigrants in New England the past few weeks, including a Kenyan national living in Lowell with pending rape, robbery and strangulation charges.

Others netted in “Operation: Secure Streets” included a Honduran living in South Boston accused of selling cocaine and a Ukrainian caught in Cambridge with two previous drunken driving convictions, immigration officials said. All 141 — 104 nabbed Massachusetts alone — are now being deported.

A total of 1,191 illegal immigrants were caught nationwide in the OUI sweep — meaning Massachusetts accounts for one in 12 of the arrests.

“These people were being overlooked,” said Todd Michael Lyons, the deputy field director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Boston. “Driving under the influence is a dangerous threat regardless of what country the offender is from. It’s even more disturbing crime when it’s committed by someone who has no legal right to be in this country.”

Lyons said ICE used fingerprints run through the FBI’s crime database following drunken driving arrests all over the region. Immigration agents then went to last know addresses to track down the suspects.

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Image Credit: New York DUI Lawyer

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