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ICE making an appearance in South Florida?


CofCC.org has brought you stories in the past about ICE refusing to pick up illegal aliens around the country. Various sheriff’s departments have reported that they were forced to release illegal aliens because ICE refused to come get them. The actions of the Federally controlled Immigration & Customs Enforcement have appeared to be operating within Obama’s pledge to Latinos not to enforce immigration laws.

From Palm Beach Post…

Agents strapped on bulletproof vests behind empty warehouses and waited for the party to get started at a Hialeah strip club popular with suspected MS-13 members, a Central American gang.

As people arrived after midnight, lights flashed from unmarked vehicles as the federal agents and police officers made traffic stops.

“What gang do you belong to?” an investigator with the Multi-Agency Gang Task Force asked a driver. An agent checked the driver’s name in the gang database and let him go.

This scene is repeated frequently outside South Florida bars, homes and clubs as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents work with local police to crack down on violent international street gangs. ICE more than doubled its gang arrests to 126 in the region since 2007 as its partnerships strengthened.

Some investigators say “homegrown” gangs cause more problems. But international gangs are melding with local gangs, broadening their reach and recruiting immigrants, investigators say.

So ICE and local police are targeting international gang members from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, using a wider array of charges that can be brought with deportation as a law enforcement tool.

“It makes it a whole lot easier to dismantle the gangs, to remove them not only from the streets but from the United States,” said Anthony Mangione, special agent in charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Miami.

ICE can arrest and deport undocumented immigrants identified as gang members within days, even if they can’t build a criminal case, Fitzpatrick said.

“When we don’t know what we can charge them with, ICE brings them in and we can get them out of here,” Fitzpatrick said.

Immigration agents can arrest people without criminal charges if they are identified as illegal immigrants, according to ICE. If agents also identify them as gang members, an immigration judge can take that into consideration during the deportation hearings.

Investigators rely on informants, gang symbols, tattoos, graffiti and criminal associations to help identify gang members, among other criteria.