Agents arrest 37 undocumented criminals in Oklahoma as part of nationwide sweep

Federal officials say 2,901 undocumented immigrants with a criminal past were taken into custody during a national immigration sweep. In Oklahoma, 37 were arrested.
BY VALLERY BROWN vbrown@opubco.com Published: September 29, 2011

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.

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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:

Multiple convictions

At least 1,282 had multiple criminal convictions. More than 1,600 were arrested with felony convictions including manslaughter, attempted murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, drug trafficking, child abuse, sexual crimes against minors and aggravated assault.

Other issues

42 were gang members and 151 were convicted sex offenders.

Immigration issues

681 of those arrested were also immigration fugitives who had previously been ordered to leave the country.

Some 390 were illegal re-entrants who had been previously removed from the country multiple times.

At least 146 of those arrested during the enforcement action were presented to U.S. attorneys for prosecution on various charges including illegal re-entry after deportation, a felony which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, immigration officials said.

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