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ICE Bust Nets 38 People with Convictions | Crime

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ICE Bust Nets 38 People with Convictions

NORTH LAS VEGAS -- Dozens of illegal immigrants are waiting to be sent back to their native countries after being arrested by federal agents last week.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was behind the three-day operation. They weren't targeting just any illegal immigrant instead they were focused on criminal aliens who pose a threat to the community.

In all, 38 individuals, many with felony convictions are being held in the North Las Vegas Detention Center waiting to be sent back to their native countries. Not only were they in the country illegally, they had prior convictions ranging from drug possession to sexual assault of a minor. They were arrested during an ICE operation last week.

"The victims of their crimes aren't just U.S. citizens, but more often than not, their victims are the illegal immigrants that are in the United States that haven't committed a crime They are just here illegally," said Thomas Feeley, ICE.

ICE Deputy Field Officer Director Thomas Feeley says his office is always making these types of arrests but try to do large scale operations at least once a quarter.

"We're not just here from one group of people, we are here for everyone. We take criminal activity pretty serious and try to do the best job we can," he said.

Members of the Hispanic community say ICE's round-up was conducted much differently than a border patrol raid on local businesses in July. In those raids, some Hispanic residents say agents never identified themselves and asked everyone for their documents. Many Hispanic community members were outraged and others lived in fear. But Michael Flores with Progress Now Nevada doesn't see a problem with last week's operation.

"They have the big ICE on the back of their shirts. There is no question to who they are. They identify themselves perfectly," said Flores.

Flores says even though he fights for immigrant rights, he agrees criminals need to go. "I don't care if you are an immigrant rights activist or if you are on the right side of this issue where you don't want anyone here, you do not want to have violence in any community -- period."

Some of the arrests made during last week's operation have not been convicted of a major crime but had been previously ordered by a judge to leave the country and never did.