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Criminal immigrants targeted in Arizona operation

The director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be in Phoenix on Thursday to talk with local law enforcement agencies about removing criminal immigrants and securing the Mexican border.

Director John Morton was set to discuss those efforts after meeting with the agencies and announce the results of a three-day statewide operation targeting at-large criminal immigrants in Arizona.

The operation started Monday and ended Wednesday. ICE officials declined to release further details until Thursday.

Arizona is the major gateway into the U.S. for illegal immigrants and drug smuggling.

The U.S. Border Patrol says that between 40 percent and 50 percent of all immigrant arrests each year on the U.S.-Mexico border are made in Arizona.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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