AUSTIN -- It's called operation SOAR. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents busted 50 illegal aliens and sex offenders. Federal agents say some of those convicted are repeat offenders and others have been deported before.
Armed with weapons and protective gear, federal agents operate under the veil of darkness. They drive to neighborhoods where sex offenders are hiding.
In all, agents arrested 50 illegal aliens; 40 of them convicted sex offenders. Agents say seven are from the Central Texas area. All seven are from Mexico and all seven are convicted of sex crimes against children.
"I have a child and just recently downloaded the sex offender app. Those that are actually registered I can see, but the illegal immigrants, ya that's worrisome, definitely," said Tabitha Morales.
"They can just fit in with the population, and it could be somebody that you wouldn't expect," said Lakeisha Artley.
"I hope there aren't any innocent people caught up in it. Hopefully their due process will make sure that everybody is really guilty," said Stephanie Towery.
ICE agents say three of the seven arrested from Central Texas are convicted sex offenders who served time in jail before they were deported, and now they're back. They're facing felony charges for illegally re-entering the U.S.
"Our main goal is to prevent the release from jails and prisons after they're serving their time into the U.S.," said ICE Field Office Director Enrique Lucero.
The offenders are taken in for booking and placed in a holding cell. They're fingerprinted and will now wait for the deportation process to begin.
ICE does not actively monitor sex offenders once they're deported, but they do keep their fingerprints and tracking information so that when they get information that someone has returned, they can to "re-arrest" them.