Immigration Officials Arrest 3,100 In Nationwide Sweep

CHICAGO (CBS) — Dozens of illegal immigrants who had been convicted of serious crimes – or were otherwise considered fugitives or threats to national security – have been arrested in the Chicago area as part of a nationwide sweep that captured approximately 3,100 immigrants.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency’s “Operation Cross Check” sweep last week targeted immigrants with major criminal convictions or who were considered national security risks. Those arrested during the six-day nationwide operation had either entered the U.S. illegally, or violated the conditions of their legal residency.

More than 60 of those arrested were in the Chicago area.

In all, there were approximately 50 gang members and nearly 150 sex offenders arrested.

As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, more than 1,900 ICE agents were involved in the crackdown.

Ricardo Wong, the field director of the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations in Chicago, said it the largest such sweep under the “Operation Cross Check” program since it began in 2009.

The people arrested hail from more than 100 countries. In most cases, they face jail time or deportation.

“They should abide by our laws and the punishment of our Constitution,” said Percy Leung, who came to the U.S. from China about 40 years ago, and is now a U.S. citizen.

Ingrid Yeo said she agrees that illegal immigrants who commit other crimes once they’re in the U.S. should be deported.

Wong said the local arrests will make a difference in Chicago.

“The biggest impact that these arrests will have on the streets is these criminal aliens that prey on society, prey on the community, we’re ensuring that they’re taken off the streets so they can’t reoffend,” he said.

The head of the Santo Toribio Romo Immigrant Center in Little Village said he understands why the government must kick out murderers, rapists and other serious criminals, but he said the slow pace of legal immigration can, at times, seem like a crime in itself.

“Oftentimes, the line might be a wait of 14 years, 15 years, 20 years,” he said. “I can’t imagine if I were a father here with a 1-year-old son in Mexico, and trying to bring him over, and having to wait 14 years to see him next. … There’s something quite not right with that.”

The two previous “Cross Check” sweeps resulted in a total of about 5,300 arrests – 2,400 during a sweep last May, and 2,900 during a sweep last September.

  • Leroy Goldberg

    Dam. I was wondering why my lawn didn’t get done today.

    • Frank C Brooks


  • hope2retiresoon


  • Frank_Comments

    Let’s get down to 3 basic points:

    1) unless you are a Native American, all of us here in the USA, myself included, are immigrants. Our parents, or grand-parents or great….great-parents came to the USA to find a better life than they had where they came from, and make a better life for their children, grand-children, great-grand-children….us.

    2) the immigration laws today are different from when our relatives in point 1 above came from.

    3) people today in other countries still dream of a better life for their children, like our immigrant relatives in point 1 above.

    We need cogent, informed discussions regarding immigration reform without resorting to pre-Cro-Magnon man logic.

    • Mumbler

      There were no people living in North American more than 11,000 years ago — the oldest bones found are only 11,000 years old. The first group appears to have kept on going down to the tip of South America. We all originally migrated out of Africa, including the people now known as the Native Americans. If we go back 15,000 years, the land here belonged to only the earth and animals. For most of the time the earth has been here, the norm was nobody living in what is now known as the United States.

  • malcom

    1 Enforce the laws
    2. ANYONE assisting illegals will be charged with treason
    3. Any business that knowingly hires illegals will forfiet the business and be sold off, owner will be imprisoned.
    4.All illegals will be deported with in 18 hrs unless being held for more serious charges.
    get adivice from Iran and North Korea on how to handle people who cross your borders without authorization. to include land mines and salt water stations in the desert.

    • Jim

      MALCOM for president!!!!!

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