New concern for N.J. immigrants: Is ICE targeting some legal residents for deportation? (via

The Filipino immigrant, who came to the U.S. legally 30 years ago, was pulled over with an air rifle, the kind that shoots pellets for hunting rabbits and squirrels, and a small amount of drugs in his car, police said.

Prosecutors eventually dropped the drug charges. Edralin pleaded guilty to possession of the air rifle and was sentenced to probation in 2007, according to court records. He served no jail time.

He renewed his green card a few years ago, allowing him to remain as a legal, permanent resident in the U.S., without a problem and went on with his life. He thought his brief brush with the law was behind him.

It wasn’t.

Last week, Edralin was picked up by immigration agents in Highland Park at dawn on his way to his job as a machinist. He was one of 91 immigrants arrested in Operation Cross Check, a five-day sweep of New Jersey by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. All face deportation.

“We never heard anything. He renewed his green card, went through the process and had no issues,” said Brandi Davison-Edralin, his U.S.-born wife and mother of the couple’s four children.

“It was just boom— he’s gone,” she said.

They have valid green cards. They had minor brushes with the law years ago. Why is ICE arresting them now?