Federal immigration law enforcement officers arrested about a dozen illegal aliens, including some believed to be convicted felons, in Union County Saturday, June 16th.
Brian Cox, an information officer with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) in New Orleans, confirmed the arrests.
“Approximately a dozen illegally present foreign nationals were arrested today in northern Mississippi,” Cox told NAnewsweb.com at 7:35 Saturday evening. “These were targeted arrests by local ICE officers in accordance with the agency’s routine, ongoing enforcement activity.”
In a telephone conversation earlier Saturday afternoon, Cox had said, “We are only looking to arrest convicted felons and those who may be a threat to public safety. We are not conducting a mass round-up of people.”
“However,” he added, “If we go to a place and arrest a person who is targeted for arrest as a convicted felon, any others at that address, who are in the country illegally, may be arrested as well.”
The arrests are believed to have started Saturday morning.
Those arrested were temporarily detained at the Union County Jail. It was expected that they would be transported out of Union County by sometime Saturday night. At least one motor vehicle with Tennessee tags and equipped to transport multiple prisoners was parked in front of the county jail Saturday afternoon.
Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards said ICE officers contacted him Friday, June 15th, and arranged assistance from local law enforcement officers and temporary use of facilities at the jail. Sheriff Edwards said his officers did not directly participate in any of the arrests, but cooperated with ICE officers, including helping identify addresses of places where the targeted individuals might be found.
Unofficial reports said some of the individuals arrested were employed at a New Albany restaurant.
Cox said ICE has around 20,000 enforcement officers nationwide, and that about 12.5-million illegal aliens are believed to be in the United States at this time.