Illegal Immigrant Arrests Rise in D.C., Virginia

Arrests up about 50 percent

Federal immigration authorities say there has been a spike in the number of illegal immigrants arrested in the District and Virginia over the past year.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say during fiscal year 2008, which ended Sept. 30, more than 3,100 illegal immigrants were arrested in D.C. and Virginia. That's about 50 percent more than last year's 2,055 arrests.

The agency reports the greatest concentration of the arrests was in northern Virginia.

ICE officials say the rise in arrests is mainly due to an enhanced effort to identify illegal aliens who are in custody for separate crimes. They also credit improved communications with local law enforcement.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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