By NWV Senior Political News Writer, Jim Kouri
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents reportedly initiated a nationwide dragnet to arrest and eventually deport illegal immigrant families on Sunday, July 14, according to a report sent to police and national security forces throughout the United States.
According to anonymous homeland security officials, a confidential memorandum informs authorized readers that ICE agents are preparing to conduct intense national raids. As is usual in the past, the ICE operation will last many days, even weeks before all of their lists of suspects are captured or accounted for in a manhunt during more than 15 days.
The ICE operation is expected to include “collateral” deportations, in which agents discover illegal aliens on the scene of the capture of suspects who are not on their target list, but are illegally residing in the U.S..
The officials said that ICE and Border Patrol agents, when possible, will house families together in newly renovated detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania, but in some cases, they will be kept in hotel rooms until their travel documents can be prepared for deportation.
The ICE raids are designed as a show of force to warn immigrant families who are thinking of crossing the southern border and entering U.S. border states such as California’s San Diego, Phoenix, Arizona, and southern Texas.
But it is unclear how successful the operation will be, as many of the thousands of illegal migrants on the list may have already moved to new addresses.
ICE agents are also not allowed to force their way into any property, meaning migrants who don’t answer the door cannot be forcibly removed even though ICE could obtain federal arrest warrants — a fact that has spread through immigrant communities seeking to protect themselves.
At the end of June, President Donald Trump cancelled an illegal alien dragnet that was targeting about 2,000 asylum-seeking families, and gave Congress a few weeks to “work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border.”
Trump had tweeted that the raids were about to happen, blindsiding agents and tipping migrants off about raids that were due to take place in 10 cities against migrants who had already been issued deportation orders by a federal judge.
Trump called off the operation at the last minute after talking to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, but afterward issued an ultimatum that appeared to foreshadow next Sunday’s raids.
“Probably won’t happen, but worth a try,” Trump wrote on Twitter on June 23. “Two weeks and big Deportation begins!”
“I say they came in illegally, and we’re bringing them out legally,” the president told reporters.
Conspiracy to Assassinate Whistleblower
Three illegal aliens were indicted in Savannah, Georgia, Thursday in connection with a 2017 murder of a Mexican man — a naturalized citizen — who blew the whistle on a scheme to fraudulently employ other illegal immigrants.
Two of the suspects, Brothers Pablo Rangel-Rubio, 49, and Juan Rangel-Rubio, 42, both of Rincon, Georgia, and Higinio Perez-Bravo, 49, of Savannah were charged in a federal indictment unsealed Thursday in the Aug. 19, 2017, slaying of victim Eliud Montoya, 41, who died from multiple gunshots near his home in Garden City, Georgia, according to U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine of the Southern District of Georgia.
Two days before his de facto assassination, Montoya, a naturalized United States citizen employed by a Savannah-area tree service, had filed a formal complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Christine said.
The complaint alleged that Pablo Rangel-Rubio ran a scheme to employ undocumented immigrants at the tree service, profiting from the company while also skimming pay from the workers, Christine said
Four months earlier, Montoya also had reported the scheme to company officials, he said.
Assassination of Whistleblower
Pablo Rangel-Rubio and Juan Rangel-Rubio are charged with Conspiracy to Retaliate Against a Witness; Conspiracy to Kill a Witness; Conspiracy to Conceal, Harbor and Shield Illegal Aliens; and Money Laundering Conspiracy. Pablo Rangel-Rubio and Perez-Bravo are charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder for Hire. Pablo Rangel-Rubio also is charged with three counts of Money Laundering Transactions Over $10,000.
The investigation began with the Aug. 19, 2017 death of Eliud Montoya, 41, who was found shot to death near his home in Garden City, Ga.. Two days before his death, Montoya had filed a formal complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that Pablo Rangel-Rubio ran a scheme to employ illegal aliens at the tree service, profiting from the company while also skimming pay from the illegal workers. Four months earlier, Montoya also had reported the scheme to company officials.
According to the indictment, authorities allege Pablo Rangel-Rubio paid Perez-Bravo to assist Juan Rangel-Rubio in killing Montoya in retaliation for reporting the conspiracy that is believed to have netted the brothers more than $3.5 million during the approximate 10-year period of the scheme.
“Eliud Montoya was a naturalized citizen of the United States who worked hard and raised a family,” said U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine. “He went to the proper authorities to report a federal crime and for that he was murdered. Our office is committed to ensuring justice for Eliud Montoya, a man killed for doing the right thing, by those intent on protecting their illegal profits.”
The investigation was led by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the FBI, the United States Marshals Service, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), the Garden City Police Department, the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, and the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office.
“As Homeland Security Investigations has stated repeatedly – HSI equally focuses its worksite enforcement efforts on those who illegally work in the U.S., as well as the employers who knowingly hire them,” said HSI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Nick S. Annan. “This case is an extreme, but clear, example of how far certain criminals seeking to illegally exploit the U.S. labor market will go to protect their ill-gotten gains, and illustrates why worksite enforcement will continue to be a major priority for HSI.”
“The FBI is proud to have assisted our fellow federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in making these important arrests,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Citizens who uphold the law and report criminal activity should never have to be afraid of retaliation from those intent on breaking the law.
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