A federal effort aimed at cracking down on immigrant child sex criminals has resulted in the arrest of more than 6,000 people, officials say.
Known as “Operation Predator,” the law enforcement effort is part of a two-year-old Department of Homeland Security initiative carried out by the agency’s Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. Some 85 percent of those arrested are foreign-born, according to DHS officials; 40 percent are illegal aliens.
“We are seeing an alarming number of illegal aliens with criminal records for everything from homicides to rapes of children as young as three years of age,” states Jim Kouri, vice president and public information officer for the 14,000-member National Association of Chiefs of Police.
“The illegal immigration problem is allowing hundreds of thousands of criminal aliens to invade our nation and kill, maim, rob and abuse our citizens,” he said, adding the U.S. government had arrested more than 100,000 criminal aliens in a nine-month period.
BISMARCK, N.D.—Wal-Mart Stores Inc. temporarily halted construction of a Supercenter and Sam’s Club here, a day after two illegal immigrants working on the projects were charged with molesting two 13-year-old Belcourt girls.
“When we were alerted of the two undocumented workers—and after consulting with authorities—we shut down the site,” said Marty Heires, a spokesman at Wal-Mart’s corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Ark.
Julio Alvarez, 21, and Carlos Martinez, 30, both Mexican nationals, were charged on Monday with gross sexual imposition in South Central District Court, Burleigh County prosecutor Brandi Sasse Russell said.
The Class AA felony charge carries a maximum punishment of life in prison and a $10,000 fine, Russell said.
The men are being held without bond in the Burleigh County jail, Russell said.
The two girls were found uninjured in Bismarck on Sunday, nearly three days after their disappearance prompted an Amber Alert.
Authorities believe the girls met the men at a shopping mall in Bismarck.