Immigration

Obama, Schmoshama: ICE Counterterrorism Unit Arrests 27 For Outdated Visas

Rest easy, Friends of Unfair Park. ICE's Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit is on the job. In the most recent sweep, they rounded up 27 dangerous immigration violators in the Dallas-Fort Worth area -- criminals guilty largely of ... overstaying their student visas.

Not quite the stuff of Bruckheimer actioners. And how do these arrests square with the recent announcement from the Obama administration that deportation proceedings could be halted for non-criminal immigrants who pose no threat to national security or public safety?

According to ICE, the 11-day operation ended August 26, resulting in the arrest of immigrants from Mexico, Pakistan, Nepal, Kenya and several other countries. Twelve overstayed visitors' visas, nine overstayed student visas and one apparently didn't show up for the flight school he was supposed to attend. A couple others falsely claimed citizenship. They were arrested in Arlington, Dallas, Euless, Grand Prairie, Irving, Justin, Plano and The Colony.

If that flight-school reference has your brain flashing back 9 years and 50 weeks, you're not alone.

"One of the lessons learned from 9-11 was the importance of screening, tracking and enforcing the student visa program in the United States," said Alysa Erichs, special agent in charge of the Dallas ICE unit.

And, just in case anyone in the immigrant community was entertaining visions of practical, sensible immigration policy, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's got two words for you that will characterize ICE's deportation stats under the new policy: "Very" and "Robust."

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Brantley Hargrove