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ICE busts 139 undocumented immigrants in Florida during effort targeting convicted criminals

Authorities say many of the people arrested had criminal convictions.
Credit: AP

MIAMI — Federal authorities say they've arrested 139 undocumented immigrants between Sept. 21 and 25 in Florida.

The arrests are part of an ongoing effort targeting immigration violators who investigators claim "pose a threat to public safety."

Of the people arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 75 of them had criminal convictions. Some of the convictions included assault, sex assault on a minor, burglary, child porn, conspiracy to import cocaine, lewd or lascivious acts with a minor and sexual battery.

“The state of Florida has taken the lead in putting the safety of all its residents and visitors before politics,” said Michael W. Meade, Miami field office director for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations.

Meade said partnerships with local law enforcement agencies were keeping "dangerous criminals" from returning.

"But there is still much immigration enforcement that needs to be done to increase public safety, as this week’s targeted enforcement action highlight," Meade said.

Two of the arrests were made in Hillsborough County, and four others happened in Pinellas County.

Those people arrested represented 20 countries throughout the world, including: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Poland, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos, Ukraine, and Venezuela.

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