By Cathy Burke
WASHINGTON D.C. – Not only did Homeland Security spring 68,000 criminals who are in the country illegally rather than process them for deportation in 2013, it freed nearly 40,000 in detention while they waited to hear if they’d been booted, the Center for Immigration Studies reported.
The 36,007 released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody included criminals convicted of homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping, and aggravated assault, and in 16,000 cases, nailed for drunk or drugged driving, the Center reported, citing an ICE tally.
“The revelation that 36,007 criminal aliens were released from ICE custody in 2013, an average of nearly 100 per day, is shocking, and could further shake public faith in the effectiveness of current immigration enforcement policies,” the Washington-based Center said in its analysis.
“This information is sure to raise concerns that, despite professions of a focus on removal of criminal aliens, Obama administration policies frequently have allowed political considerations to trump public safety factors and, as a result, aliens with serious criminal convictions have been allowed to return to the streets instead of being removed to their home countries.”
The ICE document said many of the 36,007 detainees had multiple convictions with nearly 88,000 convictions between them. The latest numbers were assembled by ICE in response to congressional inquiries after their report titled “Catch and Release,” showing ICE officers shrugged off immigration charges against 68,000 convicted criminals who were in the United States illegally last year, the Center said.
“This document raises questions about the Obama administration’s management of enforcement resources, as well as its enforcement plans and priorities,” the Center said in its analysis, calling into question “President Obama’s request to Congress for permission to reduce immigration detention capacity by 10 percent in favor of permission to make wider use of experimental alternatives to detention.”
“The news that ICE released so many criminal aliens convicted of so many serious and violent crimes suggests that ICE could use more detention capacity, not less, in order to prevent further harm to the public from these individuals,” the Center analysis said.
“ICE should be asked to track and disclose what additional crimes may have been committed by these individuals after their release.”