- The Washington Times - Friday, January 30, 2015

One thousand of the 36,000 illegal immigrant criminals the government released in 2013 have gone on to commit other crimes, including child sex abuse, hit-and-run and child cruelty, according to new data released Friday evening by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley.

The information, which the Department of Homeland Security provided to Mr. Grassley, details all 1,000 convictions, including dozens of drunken-driving convictions, drug offenses and weapons convictions. But the more serious crimes include domestic abuse, carjacking and aggravated assault.

One of the illegal immigrants, identified as No. 960, was subsequently convicted of inflicting injury on a domestic partner; child cruelty, with the possibility of injury or death; probation violations; speeding; driving without a license; and failing to appear for court.

“The Obama administration claims that it is using ‘prosecutorial discretion’ to prioritize the removal of criminal aliens from this country. But this report shows the disturbing truth: 1,000 undocumented aliens previously convicted of crimes who the administration released in 2013 have gone on to commit further crimes in our communities,” Mr. Grassley said.

The information comes just a month before President Obama begins taking applications for the new amnesty he announced in November, which would allow up to 4 million illegal immigrants to apply for a stay of deportation and for work permits to be able to compete legally for jobs.

The 1,000 illegal immigrants in the data were part of a group of 36,007 convicted criminals that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had been holding but decided to release in 2013.

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Those illegal immigrants had amassed nearly 88,000 convictions among them, including 193 homicide convictions, 426 sexual assault convictions, 303 kidnapping convictions and 16,070 drunken- or drugged-driving convictions.

ICE did not provide comment on the latest data, but at the time the 36,007 releases were made public last year, officials said some of them were required by a federal court decision that prevents them from holding illegal immigrants whose home countries won’t take them back. The government said three-quarters of those convicted of homicide had to be released under court guidelines.

Mr. Grassley this week introduced a bill to change the law and overturn the court decision.

Mr. Grassley said that of the 36,007 immigrants released, 1,589 of them had subsequently been re-arrested by ICE, and 630 of the immigrants who were being monitored but not detained committed offenses that violated their release and had to be terminated from the program.

The new data comes as the Senate prepares this week to begin debating the Homeland Security spending bill.

The House has already passed the legislation, which funds the department through the end of fiscal year 2015, but attached two amendments freezing Mr. Obama’s new amnesty, which begins Feb. 18, and his previous 2012 amnesty for so-called Dreamers, or younger illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

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Senate Democrats have vowed to block the bill, which will leave all sides scrambling to pass something before Feb. 27, which is when current funding for the department expires.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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