In a nationwide operation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 23 illegal alien fugitives who were being sought for their roles in known or suspected human rights violations.
All 23 had already been ordered removed from the United States, according to ICE.
Thirteen of the fugitives also have convictions for crimes including homicide, aggravated assault with a weapon, burglary, indecent exposure, resisting an officer, and DUI offenses.
Among those arrested are two known or suspected human rights violators from China who were “complicit in forced abortions and sterilizations by government entities,” according to an ICE statement.
Others are from Central and South America, as well as southern and Eastern Europe.
“ICE will not allow the United States to be an escape for those entering the U.S. to evade prosecution and punishment for the crimes they have committed against others,” said ICE Acting Director Tae D. Johnson.
ICE declined to provide The Epoch Times the country of origin for three of the fugitives, saying, “We have no additional information to provide at this time.”
The agency said the three fugitives “participated in or supported political violence, including mistreating political prisoners, inciting violence against minority populations, and assisting officials in a regime known for extensive human rights abuses against its political opponents.”
ICE also refused to provide the current number of illegal aliens who have been ordered removed by an immigration judge, yet remain in the United States.
In May 2016, there were more than 950,000 fugitive illegal aliens in the country who had received final orders of removal, according to a report by ICE to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Since then, Border Patrol has apprehended more than 5 million illegal aliens entering the United States, according to Customs and Border Protection data.
ICE deportations have hit record lows under the Biden administration, which narrowed the agency’s criteria for enforcement in 2021.
Deportations in the first five months of 2021 plummeted to 18,713, according to ICE records obtained by the Center for Immigration Studies. In contrast, while deportations in the first five months of 2019 totaled 186,089, they decreased to 93,247 during the same time period in 2020, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, ICE is unable to locate more than 47,700 individuals who were issued a notice to report to the agency within 60 days of crossing the border illegally between March and October 2021, but failed to do so, according to official data received by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).
In his letter accompanying the data to Johnson, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said: “DHS is committed to ensuring a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system.
“It is important that we continue working together during these unprecedented times as we strive to keep the country safe and secure.”
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.