OCTOBER 04, 2007
Five years after launching a seldom-enforced program to remove criminal illegal immigrants with deportation orders, the federal government has finally started the crackdown though only a small dent has been made on the hundreds of thousands of violent aliens who roam the nationâ??s streets.
The Fugitive Operation Program was one of several national security measures created to protect the country after the 2001 terrorist attacks yet it was largely ignored until recently. Under the plan immigration authorities were supposed to begin an aggressive campaign to capture and remove nearly 600,000 illegal immigrants who had been ordered by a judge to leave the country.
Many have criminal records and present a tremendous danger to the vulnerable communities they live in. In many instances, the aliens went on to commit heinous crimesâ??murder and sex offenses–against Americans because they were not deported and instead freed after completing jail sentences.
Perhaps this is what motivated federal officials to finally begin abiding by the crucial programâ??s rules. They say that 35,000 illegal immigrants with deportation orders have been arrested in the last year alone, bringing the total to 61,000 since the programâ??s implementation in 2002. Keep in mind that the governmentâ??s own estimate of aliens who must be removed is 597,000.
In the past two weeks alone agents arrested more than 1,300 fugitive immigrants in southern California, many of them violent gang members and sexual predators and most were from Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala. Others had been previously deported and reentered the U.S. illegally.
Federal officials say they used computerized databases and collaborated with local officials and law enforcement agencies to locate the violators. Not surprisingly, one prominent illegal immigrant advocate called the arrests of these serious offenders a â??war against immigrants.â?
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