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Richard Piatt reporting The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, formally the I-N-S, is cracking down on illegal aliens who have committed crimes.
The bureau today announced a 'Most Wanted' list, which will help deport criminal aliens from the U-S.
One offender is a man who spent at least a decade in Utah. It took about 10 years, but finally Immigration officials caught up with this man. His arrest was part of an aggressive push to deal with criminal aliens in the U-S.
Baldemar Torres-Juarez was arrested in Soldier Summit a couple weeks ago, and sent back to Mexico. He was convicted of assault and attempted murder in 1993--but only served a short sentence before slipping through the cracks of the system.
Part of the reason it took so long to catch him was a lack of resources at the I-N-S.
Since September 11th, priorities have changed. And the new Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of Homeland Security, is pumping money into tracking down up to 150 illegal criminal aliens a month in Utah.
Stephen Branch/Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement "PREVIOUSLY WE DIDN'T HAVE THE RESOURCES TO ADDRESS GOING AFTER ALL THESE PEOPLE. THERE'S HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF CASES THAT HAVE FINAL WARENTS OF REMOVAL OR DEPORTATION IN THEIR CASES."
There will be more publicity of wanted illegal fugitives too, including mug shots posted on the internet and in public places.
There are concerns within the Hispanic community in particular, that this new effort could be a gateway to harassment. Immigration officials say that's not the case, they're just following U-S law.