ICE Atlanta field office tops immigration arrests

Federal immigration officers in an Atlanta field office that covers both the Carolinas and Georgia have arrested 127 undocumented immigrants since a nationwide crackdown kicked off in January. That is more than any other field office in the whole of the United States, according to new federal figures.

A total of 336 people were apprehended by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement during “Operation Border Guardian.” ICE claims that the focus of the operation was people that came to the United States after the beginning of January as unaccompanied immigrant minors, but who are now adults, have been ordered to be deported from the country by immigration judges and who are no more legal avenues to pursue in order to try to remain.

Although a breakdown of the arrests on a state by state basis was not provided by ICE, they did this week release numbers in terms of field offices, some of which, like the one in Atlanta, serve more than one state. The arrests came after the immigration raids in January in which 121 adults and children were detained in Georgia, 77 of whom have since been deported.

Federal immigration authorities have struggled to respond to the influx of Central American immigrants flowing into the United States in order to flee violence and poverty in their homelands and who have been crossing the southern border illegally, a situation that could become the “new normal” according to R Gil Kerlikowske, the Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection.