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      Valley included in crackdown on criminal illegal immigrants

      They committed crimes and they did the time but they remained in the United States illegally.

      Federal officials believe there are thousands of illegal immigrants with criminal histories living in the United States.

      U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said they're going after them as part of Operation Cross Check.

      Over the past six days, ICE agents fanned out across the entire United States to find a long list of criminal illegal immigrants.

      Authorities arrested 3,168 of them across the United States.

      ICE spokeswoman Nina Pruneda told Action 4 News that 63 of those criminal aliens were arrested in South Texas.

      Of those, some 19 from Brownsville to Laredo are now behind bars and facing deportation:

      Brownsville 5Laredo 3La Villa 3Los Fresnos 2Pharr 2Donna 1Edinburg 1McAllen 1Weslaco 1

      Pruneda said those arrested in the Valley as part of Operation Cross Check had previous convictions for crimes ranging from aggravated assault and drugs to child molestation and human trafficking.

      "It makes each of our days a lot safer for our communities, our playgrounds, our highways and the places where we go out| a lot safer, Pruneda said.

      Most of those arrested under the operation are from Mexico while the next biggest group is from Central America.

      The criminal aliens are being held in local immigration detention centers where they TMre all expected to be processed for deportation. ICE officials say another crackdown could be possible in the near future.