Speaking on "Fox & Friends" Monday, Morgan said he doesn't like to refer to the targeted enforcement operations as "raids," arguing that they're part of what ICE does each day.
"A lot of this was overhyped and over-politicized," said Morgan, who previously served as acting ICE director and was Border Patrol chief in the final months of the Obama administration.
He said the enforcement operations will go after criminal aliens as the top priority, meaning those who entered the U.S. illegally and have since committed additional crimes. Morgan said undocumented immigrants who received "due process" and were ordered removed by a U.S. judge will also be targeted.
"We have to go after those individuals and enforce the rule of law," he said, pushing back against the idea that thousands of people will be rounded up at once.
Morgan pointed back to Nov. 2014 when then-President Barack Obama outlined similar priorities and touted that the "deportations of criminals" had increased by 80 percent.
"I also agreed when he said it was a crisis back then and we see a 300 percent increase today," he said.
A nationwide crackdown to apprehend thousands of illegal immigrants across the country began late Saturday in at least 10 cities, according to an official.
In addition to the enforcement operation, ICE also released a report on Sunday meant to illustrate the necessity for removing those who have committed crimes.