The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency recently announced that they had arrested 2,901 convicted criminals who were illegal immigrants living in the United States. The huge operation, which took place over a week and covered every state in the nation. as well as four U.S. territories, may be a boon for President Obama in the 2012 election, according to CNN.
Officials announced the arrests during a news conference, framing them as evidence of "the Obama administration's ongoing commitment to prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators."
Almost half of those arrested had multiple convictions, and 1,500 had felony convictions. Some of the crimes were quite serious, including attempted murder, armed robbery, drug trafficking, sexual crimes against minors and kidnapping. Additionally, 42 of the criminals were known gang members, while 151 were convicted sex offenders, the news source reports.
The vast majority of those arrested were men – 2,642. The immigrants hail from more than 100 different countries. Despite the massive haul from ICE, there are still believed to be around 1 million convicted criminal aliens living in America.
Illegal immigration is a hot button topic in today's current political climate, and several states have passed or attempted to pass controversial immigration bills. Most recently, a judge in Alabama blocked some sections of a strict immigration law, but kept key parts of a proposed law, including a requirement that schools in the state verify students are living in the U.S. legally, according to Reuters.
There are many who have spoken out against the ruling, including civil rights leaders and the Obama administration, who argue that the bill is unconstitutional.