By Alfonso Chardy, McClatchy Newspapers –
MIAMI — During a six-day nationwide operation last week, 3,168 foreign nationals were arrested — the largest amount since a crackdown began in 2009 — by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
Of those arrested, the vast majority had criminal convictions such as murder, kidnapping, terrorist threats, drug trafficking and sexual crimes against minors.
“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,” ICE Director John Morton said Monday.
The operation is part of ICE’s policy in which agents focus their efforts on foreign criminal convicts as well as deportation order absconders and previously deported foreign nationals who have returned.
The arrests were the most numerous since operations code-named Cross Check began in December 2009. Last year’s operation in September yielded 2,901 arrests across the United States.
More than 1,900 ICE officers and agents have taken part in the arrests in all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
“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,” said Morton.