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DHS: Most Immigrants Arrested By ICE Were Criminals

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The Department of Homeland Security said most of the immigrants arrested during raids in the first week of February had criminal records.

"[U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] officers in the Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio and New York City areas of responsibility arrested more than 680 individuals who pose a threat to public safety, border security or the integrity of our nation’s immigration system," DHS said in a statement. "Of those arrested, approximately 75 percent were criminal aliens, convicted of crimes including, but not limited to, homicide, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual assault of a minor, lewd and lascivious acts with a child, indecent liberties with a minor, drug trafficking, battery, assault, DUI and weapons charges."

Despite outrage from activists over the recent ICE immigration sweeps, DHS said the recent actions were "routine."

"ICE conducts these kind of targeted enforcement operations regularly and has for many years," DHS said. "The focus of these enforcement operations is consistent with the routine, targeted arrests carried out by ICE’s Fugitive Operations teams on a daily basis."

According to ICE's numbers, it made 114,434 immigration arrests during fiscal year 2016, President Barack Obama's final year in office.

That comes out to an average of about 2,200 per week.

Although ICE's immigration arrests under President Donald Trump do not appear to have intensified, his signing of an executive order that suggests ICE expand the criteria for which immigrants in the country illegally should be targeted for arrest.

The executive order, combined with Trump's tough talk on immigration during the course of his campaign, has struck fear into many immigrants who are in the country illegally.

Mexico Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said that calls to the Mexican consulate from fearful immigrants in the U.S. seeking advice has increased.

“It’s grown exponentially,” Videgaray told Reuters.

Sources: DHS, ICE, Reuters via Raw Story / Photo credit: Police/Wikimedia Commons

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