An Edmond resident was the only Oklahoman arrested with 39 other people during a 12-day student-visa enforcement operation by federal immigration agents.
The 25-year-old man was arrested at an Edmond residence during the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations operation that ended Friday. Carl Rusnok, ICE spokesman, said he couldn't identify the man or give details about the Edmond arrest.
The other arrests took place in 12 northern Texas cities: Wichita Falls, Tyler, Lubbock, Amarillo, Abilene, Arlington, Prosper, Irving, Dallas, Plano, Carrollton and Mansfield.
Those arrested were from 17 countries with 15 people coming from Kenya and four from Nigeria. They included immigration status violators, visa overstays and foreign students.
“The 911 tragedy identified how critically important it is for us to screen, track and enforce the student visa program in the United States,” said David M. Marwell, Homeland Security Investigations special agent in charge in Dallas. “Maintaining the integrity of the student visa program is a significant segment of maintaining national security.”
Those arrested will go before a federal immigration hearing judge who will determine if they will be deported, undergo volunteer deportation or other options, Rusnok said.
Three of those arrested falsely claimed U.S. citizenship, which is a felony and will be permanently barred from legally re-entering the United States.
The 21 men and 19 women were arrested by the Homeland Security Investigation's Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit, part of the national program designed to prevent terrorists and other criminals from exploiting the nation's immigration system.