Report: ICE Freed 68,000 Immigrant Criminals Last Year

Monday, 31 Mar 2014 08:55 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security seized and released 68,000 immigrants last year with criminal records, according to a review of Immigration and Customs Enforcement information.

The Center for Immigration Studies report revealed that ICE agents questioned 722,000 potentially deportable immigrants in 2013, but ended up filing immigration charges with just 195,000 of them, according to Breitbart.

Immigration officials then eventually freed 35 percent, or 68,000, of the immigrants with a criminal history that they had seized back into the U.S. general population when they could have been deported, according to the review.

"The criminal alien releases typically occur without formal notice to local law enforcement agencies and victims," said Jessica Vaughn of the Center for Immigrations Studies. The report’s author added, "Most of these aliens came to ICE’s attention after incarceration for a local arrest."

Breitbart said that the ICE definition of a "criminal alien" is a person who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor that is not a traffic violation, including driving under the influence or even vehicular homicide.

After reviewing the report, Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions slammed the government, saying that immigration law enforcement in the United States "has collapsed."

"The administration’s lawless policies have not only impaired public safety but increased economic suffering for millions of vulnerable Americans by depriving them of their jobs and wages," he said, according to The Daily Caller. "Unfortunately, Congressional Democrats continue to empower this lawlessness. Republicans must work to end it."

The CIS report showed that San Antonio, Texas, had the highest percentage of "criminal aliens" who were seized and then released. There were 36,228 held last year, but 28,680 of them were freed, or 79 percent.

In New York, 7,571 were questioned, and 5,391 were released, or 71 percent. In Washington, D.C., customs agents seized 8,688 "criminal aliens" and freed 64 percent, or 5,558 of them, Breitbart reported.

"These findings raise further alarm over the Obama administration’s pending review of deportation practices, which reportedly may further expand the administration’s abuse of 'prosecutorial discretion,'" Vaughan said.

"Interior enforcement activity has already declined 40 percent since the imposition of 'prosecutorial discretion' policies in 2011. Rather than accelerating this decline, there is an urgent need to review and reverse the public safety and fiscal harm cause by the president’s policies."

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