|By KATHY MATHESON|
Associated Press Writer
PHILADELPHIA- Federal agents swept through Pennsylvania and Delaware over the past five days and arrested more than 115 illegal immigrants from 29 countries as part of nationwide crackdown on those living here in defiance of the law, authorities said Wednesday.
At least a dozen had criminal convictions - some for weapons and sex offenses - while others had overstayed visas or had no documentation at all. Also caught was a family of four from Albania whose asylum requests had been denied.
In all cases, the immigrants had broken the law by not obeying deportation orders issued by U.S. judges, said Thomas Decker, field office director for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
"These are individuals who have had their day in court," Decker said.
Since Friday, agents have arrested 55 illegal immigrants in the Philadelphia area; 26 in Reading, Allentown, Lancaster and Chambersburg; 22 in the Pittsburgh area; three in Allenwood, near Williamsport; and nine in northern Delaware.
The arrests were part of a four-month-old nationwide operation to catch illegal immigrants, federal officials said.
The latest arrest in the blitz came Wednesday morning, when authorities caught David Dominguez-Navarro, an El Salvadoran convicted of burglary, larceny, criminal trespass, weapons violations, narcotics violations and illegally re-entering the country after deportation.
Those arrested are in various stages of the removal process. Some will be deported immediately, while others will await the outcome of further immigration proceedings.