The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) arrested 2,301 immigrants with criminal records during a weeklong roundup called Operation Cross Check. These were people charged with serious crimes such as manslaughter, armed robbery, aggravated assault and sex crimes.
The arrests come after several states said they would no longer enforce the Secure Communities Act. This law allows the arrest and deportation of illegal immigrants after booking by the police and a fingerprint check by the Department of Homeland Security.
Critics charged the Obama administration with arresting and deporting immigrants who committed no crimes or minor crimes. The arrests showed the administration was changing the way it enforced the law.
Those arrested were illegal immigrants and lawful resident non-citizens convicted of serious crimes.
ICE arrests and deports about 390,000 people a year. About half are criminal offenders. Most of the others violated immigration law by ignoring deportation orders or re-entering the country after being removed.