ICE Immigration Officers are “very well aware” of the impact the arrests they are making have on the families of undocumented immigrants, according to an official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Phoenix. ICE assures they are targeting undocumented immigrants who commit serious and violent crimes.
“It would be nice for the community to realize that our officers are part of the same communities,” Albert Carter, acting field office director for ICE enforcement removal operations in Phoenix, told reporters Friday.
“The human factor is not lost on our officers,” he said. “To include myself, we all understand the repercussions of an individual being arrested. But I would say that holds true for any other individual that’s arrested.”
Carter wants to focus on the “great work” ICE officers do. Last week, they arrested two sex offenders who sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl in Phoenix.
“Those two individuals are off the street now and our communities are safer for it,” he said.
Carter is on a mission to disparage fallacies about ICE and their officers. He claims one of the biggest is the notion that they conduct raids.
“We conduct targeted enforcement operations,” he said. “A raid implies to me that we’re just out willy-nilly picking up individuals. That’s not the case. We have a finite amount of resources to focus on targeting certain individuals.”
Carter claims ICE officers target individuals who have been convicted of a crime, have been removed and re-entered the country illegally or did not show up to a court hearing. They also go after those they have probable cause to believe are undocumented, he said.
“The misconception as well is … that ICE needs a judicial warrant signed before they can affect an arrest,” Carter said. “That couldn’t be farther from the truth.”
ICE officers are allowed arrest someone if they have an administrative warrant that is signed by a supervisory immigration officer. However, they do need a search warrant issued by a court to enter a home or a business.
Carter also disputed complaints of abuse by ICE Officers.
“Individuals in the custody of ICE are treated humanely,” he said. “They’re treated with dignity and respect.”