U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested 15 people in Milwaukee County as part of a four-day operation in which 83 were arrested statewide.
In a news release, ICE said those arrested were from eight countries including Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam. Twenty arrests were made in Dane County.
Of those arrested, 77 were men and six were women.
"During targeted enforcement operations, ICE officers frequently encounter other aliens illegally present in the United States," the release said. "These aliens are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and, when appropriate, they are arrested by ICE officers."
ICE said 44 of the 83 had criminal convictions. Another 16 were “immigration fugitives” with no previous criminal convictions.
Twenty-one of those arrested are believed to have been deported previously. According to the release, depending on the person's criminality, they could face up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted for re-entering the country.
One of the offenders, a 27-year-old man from Mexico, arrested in Eau Claire is was convicted in 2017 for having sex with a minor, according to ICE. A 27-year-old Taiwanese man arrested in Madison was also a convicted sex offender.
Another Mexican man was convicted in 2016 for child enticement and a 62-year-old arrested in Athens, Wisconsin had three convictions for driving under the influence. These offenders remain in ICE custody pending removal from the United States or to Mexico.
“This operation targeted criminal aliens, public safety threats, and individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws,” said Ricardo Wong in a statement, field office director for ICE ERO Chicago. “Operations like this reflect the vital work our ERO officers do everyday to protect our communities, uphold public safety and protect the integrity of our immigration laws. We will continue working with our community law enforcement agencies in order to protect citizens and enforce immigration law.”
ICE says all those arrested were amenable to arrest and removal under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act.