ICE nabs 3,100 on immigration violations

April 2, 2012 at 3:19 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 2 (UPI) -- More than 3,100 criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and violators were arrested in a six-day nationwide sweep, U.S. immigration officials said Monday.

Arrests were made in all 50 states, four U.S. territories and the District of Columbia in the "Cross Check" operation, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a release.

"The results of this targeted enforcement operation underscore ICE's ongoing commitment and focus on the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens and those that game our nation's immigration system," ICE Director John Morton said. "Because of the tireless efforts and teamwork of ICE officers and agents in tracking down criminal aliens and fugitives, there are 3,168 fewer criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators in our neighborhoods across the country."

Officials said the sweep involved more than 1,900 ICE officers and agents from the agency's 24 Enforcement and Removal Operations field offices, assistance from ICE Homeland Security Investigations and coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement partners.

Officers arrested 2,834 people with criminal convictions, including at least 1,063 aliens with multiple convictions, ICE said. Felony convictions included murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, terrorist threats, drug trafficking, child abuse, battery on a child, sexual crimes against minors and aggravated assault.

Of the total 2,834 criminal aliens arrested, 50 were gang members and 149 were convicted sex offenders, officials said. Another 698 of those arrested were immigration fugitives who had been ordered to leave the country but didn't.

Because of the seriousness of their criminal histories and arrest records, at least 204 of the people caught in the sweep were presented to U.S attorneys for prosecution on a charges, including illegal re-entry after deportation.

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