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US Homeland Security chief John Kelly: More than 680 arrested in immigration raids

The ICE operation is being viewed in the context of Trump administration's recent travel ban order on individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries which has been suspended by the judiciary. (In photo: US Homeland Security chief John Kelly) Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Washington, DC, United States Feb 13, 2017, 11.30 PM (IST)

The US Homeland Security chief on Monday said that immigration officials have arrested more than 680 people in recent operations, 75 per cent of whom have criminal records.

John Kelly, the Homeland Security secretary, said that the operations were routine and consistent with operations carried out by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

The agency said that some of the immigrants had ignored deportation orders.

Immigration rights activists have expressed alarm over the arrests saying that the raids were indiscriminate and did not take into account the threat level posed by the immigrants.

Kelly said in a statement that crimes committed by the illegal immigrants ranged from homicide to driving under the influence of alcohol.

President Donald Trump promised to deport 2 million to 3 million migrants with criminal records on taking office.

At a news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday, Trump said his administration had "really done a great job" in its recent arrests of immigrants.

"We're actually taking people that are criminals, very, very, hardened criminals in some cases with a tremendous track record of abuse and problems," Trump said.

The ICE operation is being viewed in the context of Trump administration's recent travel ban order on individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries which has been suspended by the judiciary.

(WION with inputs from Reuters)

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