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More than 200 convicted criminal immigrants arrested in sweep

September 28, 2011 | 11:39 am

More than 200 illegal immigrants convicted of crimes have been arrested in Southern California in a nationwide sweep, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Wednesday.

In all, more than 2,900 convicted criminal immigrants were arrested nationwide as part of Operation Cross Check, the agency said in a statement.

Of those arrested in Southern California, 146 had convictions for felonies, such as assault, child abuse and drug trafficking.

The illegal immigrants were deported to their home countries after their convictions and later returned to the U.S. illegally.

Among them was Jose Gallardo, 51, a Mexican citizen living in North Hollywood, who was convicted in 1996 of kidnapping a child younger than 14 years of old and of shooting into an occupied dwelling, according to the statement.

The sweep shows the agency continues to “focus on the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens that threatens the public safety of our communities here in Southern California,” said Timothy Robbins, an ICE spokesman, in a statement.

Since December 2009, the agency has conducted such operations in 37 states, resulting in the arrest of 4,500 convicted criminals, fugitives and illegal immigrants.

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 -- Sam Quinones

twitter.com/samquinones7

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