Federal agents are aggressively tracking down and deporting illegal immigrants in Minnesota as part of a national crackdown on aliens who have disobeyed their deportation orders, according to a media report.

Agents are now showing up each day on the doorsteps of immigrant families, in contrast with the past, when the nearly 600,000 people nationwide under deportation orders had little to fear as long as they weren't charged with other offenses, the Star Tribune reproted .

Tim Counts, spokesman for the ICE office in Bloomington, Minnesota, said this is the first time the agency has had a systematic program for rounding up people with outstanding deportation orders and sending them home.

"When somebody was ordered deported (in the past), and was not in our custody, we were surprised if we ever saw them again," Counts told the newspaper Friday. "We would send them a surrender letter. We jokingly called it a 'run' letter. It was a surprise when someone actually obeyed it."

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