New Dallas-area ICE director: thousands of criminals taken off streets

The new director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in North Texas says thousands of violent criminals have been taken off the streets and a large majority of those deported.

Bret Bradford said Tuesday that even more could be caught if immigrant communities in fear of deportation would speak up.

"We are certainly exercising our priorities in going after the worst of the worst,” Bradford said.

In the last fiscal year there were more than 16,000 arrests for the region and nearly 90 percent of those people were removed from the United States.

"We've got folks that were arrested for murder, folks arrested for all kinds of assaults with a deadly weapons, drug convictions,” Bradford said. “We've got a lot of serious criminals being removed.”

Bradford says his priority is catching dangerous and violent criminals, but they need the public's help -- more specifically the immigrant communities help.

Two weeks ago, in this busy strip mall near Love Field, Francisco Najara was murdered in broad daylight-- in front of a half a dozen witnesses. The killer was even caught on surveillance video -- but no arrest. 

Dallas homicide detectives say many in the city’s immigrant communities fear deportation if they talk to police.

"Coming forward as a victim or a witness is not going to get you removed, it's not going to get you arrested. It might get you a benefit,” Bradford.

Bradford says violent criminals are the very kinds of people victimizing immigrants in their own communities.

"We actually have relief and visas for victims and witness. Those aren't the folks we are targeting by any means, those are the folks we are looking to help,” Bradford said.

Bradford is in charge of the ICE region that includes counties in North Texas and the state of Oklahoma.

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