(AP) WASHINGTON – A month after promising to focus on deporting the most serious criminal immigrants, the Obama administration says it has rounded up nearly 3,000 criminals.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Wednesday they have arrested 2,901 criminal immigrants in the last week.
The arrests come just a month after Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that immigration officials would focus enforcement efforts on serious criminals and delay deportation cases for most non-criminal immigrants who don’t pose a threat to public safety or national security.
Homeland Security has been widely criticized for using fingerprints collected in local jails to identify and deport people arrested for minor traffic offenses and other misdemeanors. Napolitano has promised a case-by-case review of deportation cases to look for serious criminals to deport.
ICE Director John Morton said every single person arrested had at least one or more convictions and more than 1,600 had one or more felony convictions.
“These are not people who are making a positive contribution to their communities, they are not the kind of people we want walking our streets,” Morton said.