Federal immigration officers apprehended 650 illegal immigrants last week as part of an operation that targeted people who had been ordered to leave the country, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Tuesday.
Officers with ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations team arrested 73 family unit members, 120 unaccompanied minors, and 457 others from July 23-26.
The 650 arrestees had previously been given a final order of removal from a federal immigration judge, or had no appeals or motions to reopen their case, but had not left.
"Illegally entering the United States as a family unit or UAC does not protect individuals from being subject to the immigration laws of this country," ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan said in a statement. "I urge anyone considering making the dangerous and unlawful journey to the United States: Please do not take this risk. Ultimately, if you have no basis to remain in the United States, you will be identified, apprehended and returned to your home country."
More than 100 of those arrested had criminal convictions on their records, in addition to being unlawfully present in the U.S.
The border operation was launched in January 2016 and again in February 2016 as a way to address a spike in the number of unaccompanied minors and family units arriving at the southern border.