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4/2/2012 9:50:00 PM
ICE nationwide sweep of criminals nets 64 Arizona arrests
By VICTORIA PELHAM
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Federal immigration officials arrested 64 criminals in Arizona last week as part of a nationwide, six-day sweep that netted more than 3,100 people in the country illegally.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Monday that the latest Operation Cross Check led to arrests in all 50 states on charges ranging from murder to kidnapping, drug trafficking and child abuse. ICE Director John Morton said the operation also focused on those who had violated deportation orders.

Morton took the opportunity to tout the Obama administration's decision to target criminals before deporting undocumented immigrants with no convictions. He said the border has "never been safer."

"Focusing our resources on criminals and on the criminal justice system is just plain common sense, and we will continue to do it over and over," Morton said.

An ICE spokeswoman for Arizona said 64 of the arrests were made in the state: 58 in Phoenix and six in Tucson.

"Contrary to the accusations of some, we are not refusing to enforce the law, nor are we targeting families in low-priority cases," Morton said. "Instead, we are pursuing a sensible set of priorities designed to promote public safety, promote the integrity of the system and make the best use of our limited resources."

Morton said ICE data shows that more than half of the 400,000 removals in the past year were criminal offenders. The 216,000 criminal aliens deported last year was up 89 percent from fiscal 2008, he said.

This was the third Operation Cross Check. The first two were in May and September 2011.

ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Director Thomas Homan said the department is looking to exceed that number this year.

"In my 28 years of immigration enforcement, our strategic focus on criminal aliens is the most effective I've ever seen," Homan said, adding that communities are safer because of such efforts.

But Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, called it a "gross exaggeration" to say the border is safe. He pointed to traffickers on the border and residents who feel unsafe, adding that it's almost impossible to define "safety."

Mehlman said that while many agencies and governments had made the prosecution of criminal aliens a priority, only ICE has decided to downplay prosecution of those who aren't criminals.

"Basically what you're saying is if you violate our immigration law, but you don't go on to commit some other sort of serious crime, we don't care," he said.

Mehlman said that deporting all those found in the country illegally, not just the criminals, would deter people from coming here illegally in the first place. He added that more-aggressive punishment of employers who hire undocumented immigrants would bring in revenue and give ICE more resources to deal with an "out of control" problem.

Morton said the country does need to address immigration with comprehensive reforms, such as the DREAM Act. But for now, he said, ICE needs to do the best it can with what it has. That means cracking down on criminals and those who have violated deportation orders.

"It's just good law enforcement," Morton said. "It's a good use of our limited resources."


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, April 05, 2012
Article comment by: D Sanchez

We know at least 4 restaurants and 2 hotels in the area that have illegals on the payroll. Who can we call to turn the employers in? Can we get a reward?

Posted: Thursday, April 05, 2012
Article comment by: GUESS WHAT

THE ONES THAT COMMENT DON'T WASTE TIME ON FACTS OR TRUTH.
TRY FACTS YOU WILL SEE THAT MOST OF THE ONES COMMENTING HAVE NO IDEA OF THE TRUTH..
WHEN 1070 COMES BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT THE COURT WON'T TAKE LONG TO RULE IT UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
ALL IT DID IS COST THE TAX PAYER BIG BUCKS, THE ATTORNEYS THAT TRY CASE IN THIS COURT, DON'T WORK FOR $9.00 AN HOUR LIKE MOST IN AZ DO


Posted: Thursday, April 05, 2012
Article comment by: Real American DISABLED VET USN Retired

MOST CRIMES ARE COMMITTED BY WHITE & BLACK AMERICANS!! PERIOD!!

Illegal problem has been around since the 60's..AND OBAMA has done more than any of the others before him..The wacky right wing religious republican hero RONNY REAGAN started this mess with the 1986 IRCA 'AMNESTY/LEGALIZATION PROGRAM'!!! A HUGE IMMIGRATION FRAUD PROGRAM!! Since this happened every illegal alien wants what 'they got'!! A GREEN CARD!! SO they keep on a coming to AMERICA!!! A WE STILL WONT DO THE JOBS THEY DO!! UNLESS they are WHITE ILLEGALS FROM CANADA, UK, IRELAND ETC JOBS! BUT WE DON'T CATCH THEM!!


Posted: Thursday, April 05, 2012
Article comment by: The Revv

All I know is that crime is down since SB 1070 was enacted. It's already had a positive impact and hasn't even been enforced.

Posted: Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Article comment by: Lyle Sentiss

Response to: Fly On the Wall

The data is compiled from a variety of sources, but the Los Angeles Times newspaper was skeptical, and did their own study to repute the claims.

They failed...the truth was the opposite...and miraculously the LA Times came to even WORSE conclusions, and then reported it.!!!

Not to the level of Trayvon Martin, of course, but as the truth is a strong swimmer, the obvious facts are now making their way into the public consciousness with only Obamanauts and nitwits thinking that illegal immigration is not a huge problem.

Research it a bit, and stand by for enlightenment and outrage.

Simple fact is that illegal immigrants need to be arrested and deported post-haste. They are killing American citizens wholesale, destroying our social safety net, bankrupting the medical care system, and destroying US culture. They should be arrested, along with their kids, and removed from the USA immediately. Not given a pass to residency, free medical care, cash, a voter registration card, and a protected status as the Obama administration, under the DHS, and the foolish Janet Napolitano, allows and encourages.


Posted: Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Article comment by: Fly on the Wall

@ Lyle
Interesting "facts". Where did you find these statistics?


Posted: Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Article comment by: Plenty of white crime in Prescott !!

Seems like the latest rapes, murders and and sexual deviants have been mr whitey. No wonder other countries have safety alerts out for the US.

Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Article comment by: lyle sentiss

~ Illegal immigrants account for up to 500% more crime per capita.

~In Los Angeles,1,500 outstanding warrants for homicides 95% are for illegal aliens.

~ 67% of the 17,000 outstanding fugitive felony warrants are for illegal aliens.

~ There are currently over 400,000 unaccounted for illegal alien criminals in the USA.

~ 80,000 to 100,000 illegal alien criminals will commit an average of 13 serious crimes each...this year.

~ Over 307,000 illegal aliens, convicted of felonies, are incarcerated in U.S. correctional facilities at a cost of about $6.8 billion per year.

~ At least 4.5 million pounds of cocaine southern border every year.

~ Illegal aliens commit at least 2,158 murders of US citizens each year.

~ Illegal alien commit an estimated 130,909 sexual crimes each year.

...64 of the 12-13 million of these criminals get arrested by Big Sis & the boys and it is front page news!!

Pathetic.


Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Article comment by: James Thomson

Ánd yet we let highscool students we brag about being in OUR country illegally get national T. V. and newspaper coverage. Then we publicly bless them and let them stay here. What message does this Send.

Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Article comment by: An American

More secure? then we should lay off a few thousand border patrol agents and save the taxpayers a fortune..

Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Article comment by: Support SB 1070

64 illegals cross the border in a matter of seconds every minute of every hour of every day.

Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Article comment by: Bargaining with the Sun

The border has never been more secure than it is today.

Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Article comment by: Common Sense

Good start, lets pick up the pace. SECURE THE BORDER!!



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