Federal agents rounded up more than 2,400 aliens with criminal convictions in a nationwide “Cross Check” operation in May, the agency said.
During the operation officers from all 24 ICE Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) field offices located and arrested more than 2,400 aliens with prior criminal convictions in all 50 states. All of the criminal aliens taken into custody had prior convictions for crimes such as armed robbery, drug trafficking, child abuse, sexual crimes against minors, aggravated assault, theft, forgery and drunk driving. In total, 22% of the individuals ICE officers took into custody were immigration fugitives-convicted criminal aliens with outstanding orders of deportation who had failed to leave the country, it said.
The first “Cross Check” operation, said the agency, was implemented in late 2009. ICE has since conducted “Cross Check” operations in 37 states, including regional operations in the southeast, northeast and Midwest, resulting in the arrest of 2,064 convicted fugitives and aliens nationwide who have re-entered the US after they were previously removed, said the agency.
The seven-day operation in May, it said, was the largest operation so far and involved the collaboration of more than 500 ICE agents and officers, as well as coordination with the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), and our state and local law enforcement partners throughout the United States.
The operation was announced on June 21, days after ICE Director John Morton announced new policies for the controversial “Secure Communities” biometric information sharing program that share local law enforcement fingerprint information with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and ICE. States have been concerned that the program has lead to deportation action against more non-violent alien offenders than violent alien offenders.
ICE said the latest operation was “part of the Obama administration's ongoing commitment to prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens that threaten public and national security…”and noted Morton’s new policy changes that included more discretion for ICE prosecutors in choosing their cases and more protections for witnesses and victims to crimes.
The agency said among the 2,400 violent offenders was a 32-year-old Dominican registered sex offender living in Amesbury, MA., who was convicted of assault, battery on a household member, indecent assault, battery on a child, and leaving the scene/person injured.
It also said agents nabbed a A 51-year-old Libyan man living in Denver, CO whow had been convicted of first degree sexual assault against a child and assault domestic violence. A 38-year-old Philippine man living in Orlando, FL who had been convicted of of battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting officer with violence and reckless driving was also arrested.
To date, ICE said it removed a record number of more than 109,700 criminal aliens from the United States in fiscal year 2011, including more than 585 criminal aliens convicted of homicide and more than 3,177 criminal aliens convicted sex offenders.