Early 2017 ICE operation netted more targets than previously reported

January 26, 2018

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has confirmed that operations seeking immigrants with criminal backgrounds in the Austin area last year lasted two days longer than initially reported as a result of separate operations being combined into one.

During local and national media coverage of the nationwide ICE operation that netted almost 700 immigrants in February 2017, it was reported that 51 people were apprehended in Austin.

But the San Antonio-area bureau confirmed Wednesday that the Austin part of the operation continued to make arrests two days after the national raid ended on Feb. 10. Local ICE officers arrested 81 people in the Austin area in those two days, according to Daniel Bible, field office director of the San Antonio-area ICE bureau.

Bible said in an emailed statement that in November 2016, the San Antonio office began planning a regional ICE operation in the Austin area for the February 2017 time frame.

“Subsequently, ICE also began planning a national operation to occur around the same time,” Bible explained.

Although the two operations were planned independently, the regional operation was folded into the national effort aimed at “public safety threats,” including gang members and immigrants with criminal convictions.

“Since ICE San Antonio had additional criminal targets remaining, its officers continued conducting local operations,” Bible said.

Those stats “were not included in the national results that were published,” Bible said.