Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents rounded up 92 immigrants last week in Colorado as part of a nationwide sweep designed to snare the most egregious criminals and fugitives among the illegal immigrant population.
Those arrested do not face certain deportation. ICE's hands are tied in some cases by a 2001 Supreme Court ruling that has been spotlighted since a Vietnamese ex-convict was charged last month with fatally shooting five people in San Francisco.
The ex-convict had been ordered deported six years ago but had been released from detention because his native country would not provide travel documents for his return. The Supreme Court's decision in Zadvydas vs. Davis allows immigrants who are subject to deportation orders to be detained for up to 180 days. Exceptions are made if they are likely to be deported soon after that, pose a terrorist threat or are deemed to be especially dangerous.
"Of the 94 arrested (that figure includes two in Wyoming), nobody is currently impacted by that," said ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok. "But they could be ultimately if we can't get travel documents."
Those arrested last week in Colorado include:
• A 30-year-old man from Mexico who had convictions for domestic violence, driving while impaired, illegally carrying a concealed firearm and possessing a controlled substance.
• A 27-year-old man from Mexico with convictions twice for possessing controlled substances and twice for drunken driving.
• A 24-year-old man from Thailand who had been convicted of sexual contact with no consent.
• A 42-year-old man from Mexico with convictions for trespass, theft, possessing and selling cocaine, criminal impersonation, false reporting, harassment and drunken driving.
A third of those arrested in the sweep in Colorado were in Denver. Aurora had 10 arrests. The rest were scattered among 21 other Colorado counties.