Over 3,500 child predators were arrested by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during the Fiscal Year of 2019, marking an 18 percent increase from the previous year, the agency recently reported.
The international program known as ‘Operation Predator’, initiated by the ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division, has effectively stepped up its efforts against sexual predators who target children.
ICE has referred to ‘Operation Predator’ as HSI’s “flagship initiative” for identifying and arresting pedophiles.
In a recent press release, an ICE spokesperson wrote: “Special agents, investigators and analysts from across HIS have dedicated themselves to protecting children and rooting out predators for more than two decades.”
“In Fiscal Year 2019, HIS initiated 4,224 child exploitation cases resulting in 3,771 criminal arrests, and identified or rescued 1,0666 victims – an increase of nearly 18% over FY-18 and reflecting HSI’s firm commitment to ending these heinous crimes against children, wherever they occur,” the spokesperson added.
The objectives of HIS are to “identify, investigate, and arrest child predators who possess, trade, or produce child sexual abuse material, travel overseas for sex with minors, or engage in the sex trafficking of children”
Eben Roberts, the special agent in charge of HIS in Seattle, said: “HSI is committed to eradicating individuals from our communities who seek to prey on children.”
“HIS’s agents, in cooperating with our law enforcement partners, work tirelessly to find and bring to justice, individuals who commit these heinous crimes. Moreover, we are dedicated to rescuing from harm’s way our most precious population – our children – and those who seek to harm them should consider this a warning,” Roberts added.
Despite ICE’s invaluable work, many Democrats have called for the agency to be abolished.
Among the prominent Democrats who support the abolishment of the agency are: 2020 Democratic primary frontrunner Elizabeth Warren, far-left freshmen congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Mayor and 2020 Democratic primary candidate Bill De Blasio, and New York Senator and 2020 Democratic primary candidate Kirsten Gillibrand.