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Federal immigration authorities say they have arrested more than 100 illegal immigrants with criminal records in New England as part of a nationwide operation.
The seven-day operation resulted in more than 2,900 arrests nationwide.
"The operation known as National Crosscheck took place this week in every state in the union," said Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief John Morton. "It is the largest criminal alien operation ICE has ever conducted."
Immigration officials say more than 60 of those arrested in New England have multiple criminal convictions and five are convicted sex offenders.
Meanwhile, during a State House news conference on Wednesday, Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis and Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph McDonald said they planned to implement the federal Secure Communities program in their counties.
The program is designed to immediately check the immigration status of those arrested for crimes. Opponents say it will lead to profiling.
Gov. Deval Patrick has said the state will not sign an agreement for the state to participate in the program, which the federal government plans to implement on its own nationwide by the end of 2013.
Sen. Scott Brown, who was in Massachusetts Wednesday, called on federal immigration officials to more quickly implement Secure Communities.
"People are dying, people are getting hurt by people who are here illegally," Brown said. "It's really targeting folks who're here illegally and violating crimes. It's another tool in the toolbox. Why wouldn't we do it?"
With reporting by the WBUR Newsroom and The Associated Press
This article was originally published on September 28, 2011.
This program aired on September 28, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.
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