ICE chief says fugitive operation teams will continue to arrest immigrants who aren’t targeted

The chief of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says agents searching for people who ignore deportation orders will continue to arrest others in the country illegally who happen to be around when they show up.

John Morton spoke to reporters Wednesday in San Diego about ICE’s fugitive operations — a program that grew sharply during the Bush administration. The effort has riled immigrant advocates who say tactics have been heavy-handed and complain that people who got arrested often aren’t the targets.

Morton says ICE teams will target those who ignored deportation orders — especially those who committed crimes in the United States — but that they won’t overlook others.

Earlier this week, Morton said the ICE teams are no longer working under arrest quotas.