Over 300 immigrants arrested in Midwestern states

331 undocumented immigrants have been arrested over a month-long sweep by immigration officials who went after: those that have ignored deportation orders; those who had come back to the United States after deportation; and people with criminal convictions.

The operation began on May 9 and did not conclude until June 20, and was carried out in half a dozen states in the Midwest including Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin. Ricardo Wong, the Enforcement and Removal Operations field director for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says that arrested criminal immigrants and deporting them from the United States result in safer communities and that their resources had specifically focused on the most flagrant offenders.

Immediate deportation is likely to be the fate of those who have already been removed from the country once only to return, and those with outstanding deportation orders, but that others will likely remain in custody pending the gathering of further documentation or an immigration court hearing. The operation is part of the priorities set out to the Department of Homeland Security, which includes finding, arresting and deporting those individuals who are national security threats or endanger public safety.

Officials highlighted a number of the people taken into custody during the sweep, including two Mexican immigrants found in Wisconsin, one of whom has criminal convictions for domestic violence, vandalism and a hit-and-run, and the other of whom has previously been convicted of theft, domestic violence and sexual assault.