Arlington, VA

A three-day sweep of Northern Virgina by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents resulted in 163 arrests, including 11 in Arlington County.

Of those arrested, 130 were described as aliens with criminal records who were previously convicted of crimes including rape, assault, burglary and narcotics possession. ICE also arrested eight fugitives and three individuals accused of re-entering the United States after a previous deportaiton.

Of the 11 individuals arrested in Arlington, one was a man described as a 39-year-old Ecuadorian national and legal permanent resident of the United States.

“His previous criminal convictions include three counts of contributing to delinquency of minor, assault and battery against a family or household member, grand larceny and receiving stolen property, and statutory rape of a child between 13 and 15 years of age,” authorities said. “He was taken into ICE custody pending a hearing before an immigration judge.”

“We are a nation with a proud history of immigration. If you come here lawfully, work hard, and play by the rules, the United States welcomes you with open arms,” ICE Director John Morton said in a statement today. “For those who come here unlawfully and commit crimes at the expense of their neighbors and their communities, we will not rest until we find you and send you home.”

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell also lauded the raids.

“Once again through our working relationship with ICE, Virginia has had the opportunity to continue to safeguard its communities from convicted criminals,” McDonnell said.

ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams were assisted by various local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, including U.S. Secret Service, Virginia State Police, Fairfax County Police, and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

Arlington County Police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal said the department was notified about the pending arrests, but did not participate.

“[ICE] did not ask for assistance in Arlington County,” Nosal said.

Arlington has been resisting efforts to compel it into participating in certain immigration enforcement efforts. In September the county tried to opt-out of the federal Secure Communities information-sharing initiative. It also gave a human rights award to a group dedicated to opposing the initiative.

Photos courtesy U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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