May 12,2008 00:00
HOUSTON -- U.S. immigration officials say recent roundups of illegal immigrants in Texas targeted specific criminal suspects.
Kenneth Landgrebe, the ICE Field Office director for detention and removal in Houston, said the agency "is not doing indiscriminate raids through apartment complexes or on the streets," the Houston Chronicle reported Sunday.
"These are targeted individuals that we have investigated, and done research on, and tried to locate these individuals to apprehend and remove them from the United States," he said.
In Houston alone there are an estimated 30,000 immigrant fugitives, according to ICE figures. Nationally, there are about 575,000 illegal immigrant fugitives.
Last week, ICE agents in the Houston field office's area of responsibility, which extends over 52 counties had picked up 89 illegal immigrants, including 28 with criminal convictions.
"Well, we always hope for more, but we don't always get everybody we're looking for," Landgrebe said. "It's not a stagnant population. They move, addresses change, or there is little information to identify them. It's always a constantly moving target to identify and locate."
Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.