As the federal immigration agents led three suspected cocaine dealers out of a Revere house in handcuffs around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, parents pulling up at the daycare next door stared.
“That’s my son’s babysitter!” said Albert Norena, who was dropping off his son when he saw a woman being led out.
Camila Taborda Garcia, 20, was one of three illegal immigrants facing cocaine trafficking charges who was arrested by immigration officials at a home in a quiet Revere neighborhood on Wednesday. Julian Esteban Mesa Franco, 34, and Leidy Suleima Gomez Valencia, 26, were also arrested.
The Herald joined Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for a firsthand look at the sweeps by ICE agents that netted arrests of 80 illegal immigrants across New England this week. Hundreds of sweeps were conducted by field offices across the country as part of Operation Cross Check that resulted in the arrests of 1,300 illegal immigrants.
Acting ICE Director Matthew T. Albence said the sweeps focused on communities where he said sanctuary policies are “undermining public safety.”
Those arrested by ICE this week included three illegal immigrants with convictions of murder or manslaughter, 100 with sex crime convictions — half of which involved minors — 70 with drug convictions and 328 who were convicted of driving under the influence.
“Hold your lawmakers accountable before you, or someone you love, is unnecessarily victimized by a criminal ICE could have removed from the country,” Albence said in a press conference on Thursday.
Albence called public perception that ICE is rounding up illegal immigrants not charged with crimes “untrue.’
Last year, 13 percent of the 105,000 illegal immigrants arrested by ICE had no criminal history.
By Erin Tiernan for BOSTONHERALD.COM
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