Monday, April 2, 2012

ICE Arrests Over 3,100 Aliens in Massive Sweep of US and Territories

April 2, 2012 - A huge, 6-day nationwide operation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) netted 3,168 "criminal aliens." ICE's "Operation Cross-Check" was conducted in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. Note, however, that the Department of Homeland Security estimated in 2011 that there are about  10.8 million aliens in the U.S. without lawfulimmigration status.

Operation Cross Check – Dallas, March 2012
The massive law enforcement effort, reports ABC OTUS News, "included more than 2,834 individuals who had prior criminal convictions. ICE officials noted that 50 gang members and 149 convicted sex offenders were nabbed. Although ICE has run similar operations called 'Cross-Check,' ICE Director John Morton said this was the largest to date."

KLTV reports that Operation Cross-Check "involved the collaboration of more than 1,900 ICE officers and agents from all of ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations' (ERO) 24 field offices, assistance from ICE Homeland Security Investigations as well as coordination with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners throughout the United States. Arrests occurred in all 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, three U.S. territories and the District of Columbia."

ICE reports on its website that arrests were made "in all 50 states, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, three Territories (Virgin Islands, N. Mariana Islands and Guam) and the District of Columbia."

Operation Cross Check – September 2011 (ICE website)
ICE says that this most recent operation is the third nationwide "Cross Check operation" in its history. "The first nationwide Cross Check operation occurred at the end of May 2011 and resulted in the arrest of 2,442 convicted criminal aliens. The last Cross Check operation in September 2011 resulted in the arrest of 2,901 convicted criminal aliens."

To put those numbers in some perspective, we looked at the Government Accounting Office (GAO) website for information about "criminal aliens." We found a March, 2011 document titled "CRIMINAL ALIEN STATISTICS:Information on Incarcerations, Arrests, and Costs." On page two of that document (see the pdf) it says, "The number of criminal aliens in federal prisons in fiscal year 2010 was about 55,000, and the number of SCAAP criminal alien incarcerations in state prison systems and local jails was about 296,000 in fiscal year 2009 (the most recent data available)."

Even more telling, however, is an explanation (also on page two) of "Why GAO Did This Study." The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), it says, "estimated that as of fiscal year 2009 the total alien — nonU.S.-citizen — population was about 25.3 million, including about 10.8 million aliens without lawful immigration status."

In other words, the 3,168 criminal aliens arrested last week is a mere drop in the bucket of the total still at large, walking the streets of America.