As more repercussions arise from the ongoing border crisis, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested at least a dozen illegal aliens with previous charges and convictions relating to child exploitation. 

Following a national operation called Operation Night Guard, conducted January 16-28, ICE arrested illegal aliens with criminal histories in at least three states, including Washington, Oregon, and Texas. 

In Texas, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Harlingen arrested at least six illegal aliens with pending charges or convictions for murder, homicide, or assault against children.

ERO Harlingen Field Office Director Miguel Vergara said in a statement that he is pleased with the results of the operation. 

“The arrests are a testament to ERO’s commitment to arrest and remove those who undermine the safety of our communities and the integrity of U.S. immigration laws,” said Vergara.

The arrests included a 34-year-old from Mexico convicted of sexual assault of a child; a 62-year-old from Mexico convicted of felony indecency with a child, sexual contact; and a 49-year-old from Mexico convicted of felony indecency with a child. 

In Washington and Oregon, ERO of Seattle arrested at least six illegal aliens convicted of crimes related to child exploitation. 

In addition to the dozen, at least 171 illegal aliens have been arrested in 25 cities around the nation with pending charges or convictions for murder, homicide, or sexual assault of a child, as reported by Fox News. 

In fiscal year 2023, ERO arrested more than 73,000 illegal aliens with criminal histories, including charges and convictions associated with sexual assault, homicide, and kidnapping. In total, the group had 290,178 associated charges and convictions, with an average of four per individual. 

While ICE has arrested some who have committed crimes against children, cities in Texas are dealing with other crimes that can be associated with the border crisis. 

Texas Scorecard previously reported on the city of Fort Worth seeing a 21 percent increase in human trafficking cases. 

Selene Rodriguez, a policy director for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, told Texas Scorecard that the increase in human trafficking can be linked to the Biden administration’s failing border policies and to the Mexican cartels. 

“Often, children will be put in the hands of cartels and sent to the U.S., and it often happens that those children are put in the hands of human traffickers once they get here. They will be used for sex trafficking or labor trafficking, as there is less and less oversight over the government agencies that should be ensuring the children’s safety once in the U.S.,” explained Rodriguez. 

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.