Monday, July 6, 2015

In 2014 Illegals had Committed 79,059 crimes, including 175 homicides, 373 sexual assaults, 186 kidnappings, and 14,014 impaired driving offenses.

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ICE Still Releasing Criminal Aliens at a Rapid Pace

According to ICE records, the agency released 30,558 convicted criminal aliens in FY 2014. These individuals had been convicted of 79,059 crimes, including 175 homicides, 373 sexual assaults, 186 kidnappings, and 14,014 impaired driving offenses.

As of the end of March 2015, ICE had released another 10,246 criminal aliens. This pace of criminal releases is down from 2013 and 2014 — but only because ICE is arresting far fewer people to start with, not because there are fewer to arrest. ICE arrests of criminal aliens are down 32 percent since this time last year, according to ICE records. Arrests of the most serious offenders are down by 22 percent over last year.

Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies said, “The Obama administration is shamelessly promoting a narrative suggesting that illegal immigration is no longer a problem and that interior enforcement is more effective than ever.  This narrative, propped up by a few cherry-picked statistics, strategic press releases, and supercilious statements to Congress and the public, is meant to distract from the truth.  In fact, immigration enforcement has been in free fall for years, often with tragic consequences for those victimized by criminal aliens who were shielded by the President’s policies, and at continued high cost to taxpayers forced to subsidize these misguided policies.”

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The majority of convicted criminal releases occurred because of Obama administration policies that require ICE officers to let the offenders go. In some cases, judges will allow aliens to be released after a bond hearing, but the conditions are usually set by ICE, and ICE attorneys say that they have been instructed not to vigorously contest an alien's request for release. According to ICE records, only 2,457 (8 percent) of the 30,558 convicted criminal releases in 2014 were Zadvydas cases, cases in which the criminal aliens were released because their home countries would not accept them back.

Aliens who are released on bond typically are not subject to any form of supervision. Most of them will join the approximately 904,000 aliens who have been ordered removed (often in absentia), but who have not left. Of these, 167,527 are convicted criminals.

Other ICE records show that, despite ICE Director Sarah Saldana's insistence that they are working hard to find at-large criminal aliens, few are in fact being caught. As of April 2015, ICE had arrested only 11,983 of the 168,000 at-large convicted criminal aliens — so they are not making much of a dent in the criminal fugitive population.

The Obama administration continues to practice catch and release of criminal aliens to this day. According to ICE records, in the first six months of this fiscal year, ICE officers encountered approximately 47,000 aliens labeled a criminal threat, but took enforcement action against only about 19,000.

It's not as if ICE has nowhere to put the criminal aliens that officers encounter (most of whom are referred to the agency after arrest or conviction on local or state charges). ICE is allowing 20 percent of its detention capacity to go unused. Halfway through the fiscal year, the agency was detaining an average of 27,400 per day, in defiance of a congressional mandate to detain 34,000.

Deportations of criminal aliens continue to decline, just as overall deportations are at their lowest level in several years.

In addition to the criminal releases, ICE routinely does not living up to its responsibilities as a law enforcement agency that claims to prioritize public safety. ICE's victim notification system is kept under a bushel, with few victims aware of it, and no concerted agency effort to conduct outreach to victims. ICE is also taking its sweet time in launching a notification system for local law enforcement agencies that would make them aware of the thousands of offenders being turned back onto the streets. In contrast, ICE is extremely diligent at protecting the privacy of criminal alien offenders.

Contact: Marguerite Telford

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