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15 Kenyans arrested in US

By - | Published Thu, June 7th 2012 at 00:00, Updated June 7th 2012 at 12:25 GMT +3

By Chris Wamalwa in USA

Fifteen Kenyans living in the US without proper documentation were last week rounded up and arrested in a major immigration swoop covering the States of Texas and Oklahoma.

According to a report in a Kenyan US based Online publications, 15 Kenyans are among 40 arrested in North Texas and Oklahoma. The 12 day operation that ended on June, 1 was carried out by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation. The operation targeted students who had violated the conditions of their non-immigrant student visas.

If the exercise continues, more Kenyans are likely to be affected because many who came to the US as students dropped out of school along the way to find jobs to support themselves and their families back home. 

Some of those arrested last week had expired student visas. Also three of them had allegedly claimed to be US citizens, which is a felony and bars them from re-entering the country.

A news release from ICE's HSI said 21 men and 19 women were arrested in Arlington, Prosper, Irving, Dallas, Plano, Carrollton, and Mansfield, as well as five other Texas cities and Edmond, Oklahoma.

"Those arrested are from the following 17 countries: Saudi Arabia (1), Yemen (1), Kenya (15), Azerbaijan (1), Zimbabwe (1), Zambia (1), Nepal (2), Nigeria (4), Gambia (2), Cameroon (3), Grenada (2), Thailand (1), Spain (1), Jamaica (1), Dominica (1), Mexico (2) and Antigua and Barbuda (1)," ICE said in the news release. They have all been processed for immigration removal proceedings.

HSI Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit (CTCEU) is part of a national program designed to prevent terrorists and other criminals from exploiting the nation’s immigration system.

CTCEU also reviews the immigration status of known and suspected terrorists, combats criminal exploitation of the student and exchange visitor visa program, and leverages HSI’s investigative expertise to identify national security threats.

According to the agency, there are about 33,000 foreign students registered in the North Texas-Oklahoma area.

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