Federal immigration officials announced the arrests of 37 undocumented criminals in Oklahoma during a seven-day nationwide operation ending last week.
Of those arrested in the state, 37 arrests were made in 12 cities, including 19 arrests in Oklahoma City, immigration officials report.
Arrests were made in all 50 states as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The sting netted more than 2,901 undocumented immigrants nationwide.
The agency was not immediately able to give specifics of those taken into custody in Oklahoma.
John Morton, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement director, said in a statement that the arrests are a result of targeted enforcement and a commitment to focus on and remove undocumented immigrations with criminal convictions and individuals taking advantage of the country's immigration system.
Agency officials have routinely been criticized for not focusing on dangerous criminals and taking into custody those caught driving without licenses and other traffic or noncriminal offenses.
“Because of the tireless efforts and teamwork of ICE officers and agents in tracking down at-large criminal aliens and fugitives, there are 2,901 fewer criminal aliens in our neighborhoods across the country,” Morton said.
“Our operations targeting criminal aliens ultimately help protect the public,” said Nuria T. Prendes, field office director of the agency's Enforcement and Removal Operations in Dallas.
The weeklong operation involved the collaboration of more than 1,900 agency officers and agents and coordination with other federal, state and local law enforcement.
BY THE NUMBERS
Federal custody at a glance
Federal immigration officials said all of the 2,901 individuals taken into custody had prior criminal convictions including: