The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained more than 2,000 illegal immigrants, looking for those with violent criminal records.

In addition to residing in the country illegally, which is a crime in itself, 1700, or 85 percent of the detainees had already been criminally convicted or had other charges pending, according to ICE’s website on September 1.

“The aliens targeted during this operation preyed on men, women, and children in our communities, committing serious crimes and, at times, repeatedly hurting their victims,” said deputy director Tony H. Pham.

During 2019, ICE arrested 216,600 illegal immigrants with outstanding debts to justice, including murder, kidnapping, sex crimes, drug-related crimes, or crimes involving weapons or driving under the influence of alcohol.

Illegal immigrants pose a high risk to citizens’ safety since most have already been convicted of crimes committed within the country. According to ICE statistics, 46 percent are repeat offenders.

“By focusing our efforts on perpetrators of crimes against people, we’re able to remove these threats from our communities and prevent future victimization from occurring,” Pham said, according to Washington Examiner.

One of the difficulties that ICE faces in fulfilling its duties to protect citizens is the lack of cooperation from prison authorities in some cities.

For example, authorities in Los Angeles, California, refuse to hand over 25,000 illegal immigrants detained in their jails, even though they are obliged to do so.

At least 48 hours before they are released from prison for serving their sentences, authorities must notify ICE so that they can take custody of them.

On the other hand, an additional threat is that of altering the electoral process in the country.

In this regard, President Donald Trump issued an order to the U.S. Census Bureau that illegal immigrants should not be considered part of the population counted for allocating seats in the House of Representatives.

“I instructed executive departments and agencies to share information with the Department of Commerce, to the extent permissible and consistent with law, to allow the Secretary to obtain accurate data on the number of citizens, non-citizens, and illegal aliens in the country,” said President Trump’s memorandum, released by the White House on July 21.