2,900 arrested in US illegal immigration sweep

WASHINGTON — US authorities arrested 2,900 illegal immigrants with criminal records during a seven-day sweep across the country, the biggest of its kind, immigration officials said Wednesday.

By (AFP)

Published: Wed 28 Sep 2011, 8:32 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:06 AM

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said the operation, which it dubbed “Cross Check,” “led to the arrest of more than 2,900 convicted criminal aliens.”

The operation was carried out over a seven-day period in all 50 US states and overseas territories, as part of the US administration’s strategy to focus on people with criminal records who are in the country illegally.

“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 who game our nation’s immigration system,” ICE director John Morton said.

Of those detained, 1,282 had multiple convictions to their name, and more than 1,600 had served sentences for crimes like armed robbery, attempted murder, kidnapping or drug trafficking, the agency said.

It said 681 of those detained had been expelled from the United States after being convicted of crimes but returned to the country illegally, it said.

The United States has expelled 350,000 illegal immigrants a year on average over the past three years — a record high — and about half of them had criminal records.

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