Alleged Gang Members Deported

September 7, 2007

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Thirteen Mexican nationals who'd been living in suburbs north of Chicago are on their way back to their birth country this afternoon. But it's not a vacation. It's a deportation stemming from raids last week.

Chicago Public Radio's Chip Mitchell has more.

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The Chicago area's largest dragnet targeting foreign-born gang members swept up 58 immigrants, most from homes in Waukegan, Round Lake and Mundelein. Mexico's Chicago consulate says 13 of them are on flights headed to Mexico today.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson Tim Counts says they waived their right to a hearing.

COUNTS: They essentially say, “Yes, I agree I'm deportable. No, it's OK, I don't need to see the judge.” 

The consulate says the detainees will be free upon arrival in Mexico. Most of the others caught last week remain jailed in the Wisconsin counties of Dodge and Kenosha.

Agencies assisting with the raids included the Lake County sheriff's department and the police of Waukegan and Mundelien. More than a third of the detainees were permanent legal residents of the U.S.

Nationwide, officials carried out more than 177,000 deportations during the first nine months of the fiscal year. That's a record pace.

I'm Chip Mitchell, Chicago Public Radio.