3K Criminal Immigrants Nabbed in Vast ICE Sweep
Operation Cross Checked called the biggest 'removal' sweep ever
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2011 6:03 AM CDT
In this July 2, 2011 file photo, a man holds a United States flag while marching through downtown Atlanta in protest against Georgia's strict new immigration law in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Erik S. Lesser, File)

(Newser) – Operation Cross Check, a seven-day "enforcement and removal" sweep, rounded up 2,901 immigrants with criminal records in the largest crackdown in the history of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, reports the New York Times. Of those, more than 1,600 had been convicted of a felony, while the rest had misdemeanor convictions. “These are not people who are making a positive contribution to their communities,” said the agency’s director. “They are not the kind of people we want walking our streets."

Arrests were made in all 50 states, and included immigrants—both legal and illegal—with convictions of aggravated assault, armed robbery, manslaughter, and sex crimes. The Obama administration has cracked down on deporting illegals with criminal and dangerous backgrounds, notes the Times, while showing leniency on those who do not pose a public safety threat. But despite the shift in emphasis, the immigration agency continues to deport people at a rate of 390,000 a year, a record level.