U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested more than 150 aliens, including many with criminal records, who failed to exit the country voluntarily despite receiving an order of voluntary departure.

The apprehensions came as part of “Operation Broken Promise,” an effort to go after aliens who received an order of voluntary departure but did not subsequently leave the country.

“In fact, during the first phase of Operation Broken Promise, ICE located 133 aliens with criminal convictions,” Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tony Pham said during a press conference on Thursday. “This is 86% of the individuals arrested. These crimes include crimes of domestic violence, cruelty towards children, sexual assault, prostitution, burglary and drug offenses,” he noted.

Pham noted that among those arrested, a person had a voluntary departure order in 1997, but orders ranged from as long ago as 1997 to as recently as 2020. 

“Voluntary departure is typically requested by the alien and granted by an immigration judge, where the alien is granted about 60 to 120 days to arrange their own departure, versus facing a formal deportation and the barriers to readmission that it carries,” according to an ICE press release.

“This is just the beginning of the operation,” Pham noted during the press conference. “ICE will continue to seek out those who broke their promise to the American people and the immigration courts”

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1:30 operation broken promise

3:00 60-120 days

4:00 domestic violence cruelty towards children

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