Immigration and Customs Enforcement said today it arrested 3,168 criminal aliens and fugitives in a six-day nationwide sweep in every state including Puerto Rico and The District of Colombia.
The operation dubbed "Cross-Check" included more than 2,834 individuals who had prior criminal convictions. ICE officials noted that 50 gang members and 149 convicted sex offenders were nabbed.
Although ICE has run similar operations called "Cross-Check," ICE Director John Morton said this was the largest to date.
"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," Morton said at a press conference in Washington. "These are not people we want roaming our streets."
ICE officials said that most of the criminal aliens would be deported to their home countries. Among those arrested included 559 illegal re-entrants.
Notable arrests included:
Ignacio Franco-Galvez, a Mexican national living in Sacramento who had been removed on two previous occasions from the United States. He is allegedly a self-admitted gang member and had previously been convicted on drug and weapons charges going back to 1986.
Veasna Uy, a Cambodian national who was an immigration fugitive wanted for manslaughter and assault charges.
Jose Angel Duran-Ramos, a Mexican national living in El Paso, Texas, who had been convicted of murder in 1984 and had served 18 years in prison. ICE officials say he was an at-large criminal alien.
All of the defendants are in ICE custody pending removal proceedings. Among those arrested, 204 individuals have had their cases presented to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution on a variety of charges including illegal-re-entry.
Last year DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced a policy shift to focus more on removing criminal illegal immigrants, and repeat immigration law violators instead of conducting enforcement operations again non-violent immigration violators.