BY BMJ MURIITHI
Associated Press (AP) is reporting that Kenyans are among 78 people arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in a five-state immigration sweep during a six-day enforcement action in the Midwest, USA.
Officials said Sixty-two of the people arrested had prior criminal convictions; 31 had re-entered the United States illegally after previously having been deported.

“The arrests included people from Kenya,  El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Ethiopia, South Sudan, the Ivory Coast and Sudan. Several other people arrested were from Mexico.” ICE officials added.

“This operation targeted criminal aliens, public safety threats, and individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws,” Peter Berg, field office director for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in St. Paul, said in a statement.
 Iowa and Nebraska each saw 25 arrests, while there were 15 arrests in Minnesota, 10 in South Dakota and three in North Dakota.

“Operations like this reflect the vital work our ERO officers do every day to protect our communities, uphold public safety and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls. We will continue to devote the full efforts of our agency to protecting citizens and enforcing federal immigration law. Communities across the upper Midwest are safer today because of the hard work of the men and women of ERO.”

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ICE officers. PHOTO/COURTESY

ICE officials said Friday that those arrested were set to remain in their custody pending additional proceedings.

ICE is a U.S. federal government law enforcement agency established in 2003 under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security.

Kenya Satellite News Network could not immediately establish the exact number of Kenyans caught up in the swoop.