Immigration Officials Arrest Thousands in Nationwide Sweep

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested over 3,100 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and immigration violators, including 127 in the New York area, during a six-day national operation.

“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,” ICE Director John Morton said in a statement.

The six-day "Cross Check" operation spanned across 50 states, Puerto Rico, three U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. Nearly 50 percent of arrestees had felony convictions, 50 were gang members and 149 were convicted sex offenders, according to ICE.

Among those arrested in New York was Maurice Duhaney, 46, from Brooklyn, who was convicted of manslaughter in 1985, but remained at large until now. He is currently in ICE’s custody pending removal from the country.

This was the third nationwide "Cross Check" operation and the largest up to date, with 3,168 arrests. The first one was conducted in December 2009.

Throughout these past three years ICE has emphasized that, with its limited resources, it was focusing on deporting convicted criminals. Immigration advocates have challenged that, saying a large proportion of those deported have no record or are minor offenders.

The Obama administration has deported a record number of undocumented immigrants for three years in a row. From October 2010 through September 2011, nearly 400,000 individuals were removed from the country.