U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Wednesday that the agency had arrested almost 3,000 immigrants previously convicted of crimes. The arrests came in a seven-day “Cross Check” operation that spanned all 50 states and four U.S. territories.

The ICE officials announced the action as a way of highlighting “the Obama administration’s ongoing commitment to prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators,” they said at a news conference.

The large majority of those arrested — 2,642 — were men. The operation, the ninth of its kind since December 2009, puts the tally of criminal immigrants arrested at more than 7,400. –BF

CNN:

ICE Director John Morton said all those arrested had prior criminal convictions, including 1,282 who had multiple convictions. More than 1,600 of those arrested had felony convictions including manslaughter, attempted murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, drug trafficking, child abuse, sexual crimes against minors and aggravated assault. Forty-two of them were gang members and 151 were convicted sex offenders, officials said.

ICE officials acknowledged that despite the large number of arrests, there were still an estimated 1 million convicted criminal aliens in the United States. Morton said one of the issues ICE is trying to deal with is the lack of notification to immigration authorities when offenders are released from jail.

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