Seven illegal immigrants have been arrested this week in the north-central Iowa town of Hampton. Tim Counts, a spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), says the seven individuals will be deported.
The investigation involved a Fugitive Operations Team based in Des Moines."Fugitive Operations is a program that has been staffed and funded over the last several years by Congress with the express purpose of locating people that are not only in the country illegally, but have also been through the courts and have been ordered deported by a federal immigration judge," Counts said. "But instead of obeying the judge’s order to leave the country or surrender to ICE for deportation, they have absconded."
Four men and two women were taken into custody Monday, while one more person was arrested Wednesday. Counts says the seven individuals captured in Hampton make up a very small portion of the number of immigration fugitives nationwide. ICE estimates there are more than 500,000 immigration fugitives in the U.S.
The seven arrested in Hampton were working at Iowa Select Farms. "I think it’s important to point out that Iowa Select Farms has not been accused of any wrongdoing," Counts said. "They have not been charged with any offense and they cooperated fully when officers arrived." Counts declined to provide the names of the people who were arrested.