Federal immigration officials say they've arrested 53 illegal immigrants with criminal records during a four-day sweep throughout the Boston area.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say the arrests occurred in more than a dozen cities and towns.
Officials said 24 of those arrested had felony convictions.
ICE spokesman Ross Feinstein says this was a targeted operation.
"We're obviously focusing on the worst of the worst, the individuals who pose a danger to our communities," Feinstein said.
That fewer than half of those arrested have felonies makes some immigrant advocates skeptical.
"Well, ICE has a very broad term for criminal," said Frank Soults, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. "In the past we've had many occasions where people have been picked up and people haven't turned out to be dangerous in the least."
Immigration agents carried out a similar sweep in September that resulted in more than 100 arrests around New England.
This article was originally published on November 22, 2011.
This program aired on November 22, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.