- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Feds released hundreds of immigrant murderers, drunk drivers, sex-crimes convicts
Question of the Day
Immigration officials knowingly released dozens of murderers and thousands of drunken drivers back into the U.S. in 2013, according to Obama administration statistics that could undercut the president’s argument that he is trying to focus on the most serious criminals in his immigration enforcement.
Among the 36,000 immigrants whom U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released from custody last year there were 116 with convictions for homicide, 43 for negligent manslaughter, 14 for voluntary manslaughter and one with a conviction classified by ICE as “homicide-willful kill-public official-gun.”
The immigrants were in deportation proceedings, meaning ICE was trying to remove them from the country and could have held them in detention but released them anyway, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, which published the numbers Monday. The Washington Times also obtained the data.
“This would be considered the worst prison break in American history, except it was sanctioned by the president and perpetrated by our own immigration officials,” said Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican. “The administration’s actions are outrageous. They willfully and knowingly put the interests of criminal immigrants before the safety and security of the American people.”
The data raised thorny questions about how the government decides which immigrants to detain and which it will release as they await court hearings and final action on deportation.
Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, said the numbers undercut the Obama administration’s argument that it is trying to keep its enforcement efforts targeted at dangerous criminals.
“We keep hearing from the administration that they are focused like a laser on enforcement against the worst of the worst, convicted criminals, as their top priority. On the other hand, they are releasing, at a rate of about 100 a day, aliens from their custody with criminal convictions, and many of them are serious criminal convictions,” she said.
In a statement, ICE said many of those it released were subject to electronic monitoring, posting bond or having to check in with officers.
In other cases, the agency was required to release immigrants because of court decisions, including a 2001 Supreme Court ruling that found immigrants whose home countries refused to take them back could not be held for more than six months.
ICE said 75 percent of the convicted murderers released in 2013 were considered “mandatory releases” in compliance with court decisions.
“Others, typically those with less serious offenses, were released as a discretionary matter after career law enforcement officers made a judgment regarding the priority of holding the individual, given ICE’s resources, and prioritizing the detention and removal of individuals who pose a risk to public safety or national security,” ICE said.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will have to answer questions.
Mr. Goodlatte and Mr. Smith asked ICE for the release numbers but said the agency never turned them over.
“These criminals should be locked up, not roaming our streets,” the lawmakers said.
ICE has told Congress it doesn’t need to hold as many immigrants in detention. In its budget request this year, ICE asked that Congress fund slightly more than 30,500 detention beds a day, down from the 34,000 set in current law.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at email@example.com.
- House backs faster deportations, cancels 'Dreamer' policy
- Senate approves money for Israel's Iron Dome defense
- House GOP resurrects border bill, predicts successful Friday vote
- McConnell to Obama: Quit fundraising, start leading on border
- Harry Reid threatens to cancel weekends
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- Houston mayor: Sorry that police put man's blind dog on road to die
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors