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31 people picked up in Kansas during nationwide immigration sweep

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents investigate at a home in Atlanta during a nationwide targeted immigration enforcement operation that included arrests in Kansas. (Feb. 9, 2017)
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents investigate at a home in Atlanta during a nationwide targeted immigration enforcement operation that included arrests in Kansas. (Feb. 9, 2017) Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Thirty-one of the more than 600 people arrested by immigration authorities last week were picked up in Kansas, according to a representative for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

About three-quarters of those arrested were picked up in southwestern Kansas, near Dodge City, Garden City and Liberal.

Four were picked up in Wichita. Those arrested in Wichita included two people who had either an arrest or a conviction for a drug crime.

The four arrested in Wichita were part of last week’s nationwide sweep. Two weeks ago, immigration authorities arrested at least three others in Wichita as part of its ongoing immigration enforcement efforts.

President Trump recently signed an executive order on immigration that included, among its changes, prioritizing individuals arrested for crimes, not just those that had been tried and convicted of crimes. In the past, immigrants typically became a priority for deportation only after a conviction had been secured.

“Now everybody who has any contact with law enforcement is a priority,” according to Michael Sharma-Crawford, an immigration lawyer outside Kansas City.

On Saturday, rumors were circulating on social media that immigration authorities were planning to make arrests outside Kansas City churches on Sunday. Immigration activists mobilized, and no arrests were observed. A representative for immigration enforcement said that ICE policy is typically to not arrest individuals in schools or churches and that ICE took no action on Sunday in Kansas City.

About 75 percent of the 235 foreign nationals arrested last week in the Midwest had criminal convictions, according to a news release from ICE. Another 60 individuals had previously been removed and then re-entered the country. Several of the arrests in Chicago included arrests for sexual abuse.

Some of the arrests in Kansas included individuals who were either accused or convicted of aggravated assault, identity theft, driving while intoxicated and theft, according to immigration authorities.

Nearly all of those in Kansas who were arrested were citizens of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador or Mexico, although one came from Eritrea, a small country in Africa.

A handful of additional people arrested by the Kansas City bureau of immigration enforcement included individuals who said their home addresses were in Lawrence, Topeka or Kansas City. But the bureaus don’t typically break down their arrests by state, according to the immigration representative.

This video from ICE takes you behind the scenes to show you what the agency does.

Oliver Morrison: 316-268-6499, @ORMorrison

Arrests in Kansas

City

Foreign nationals arrested

Nations included

Dodge City

9

Honduras, Mexico, Eritrea, Guatemala

Garden City

7

Mexico

Liberal

6

Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador

Wichita

4

Honduras, Mexico

Elkhart

2

Guatemala, Mexico

Syracuse

1

Mexico

Ulysses

1

Mexico

Plains

1

Mexico

Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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