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CIS's Vaughan: ICE Freeing Criminal Aliens Mars Immigration Reform

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Thursday, 15 May 2014 03:36 PM

It's now doubtful immigration reform will pass this year following the revelation that 36,007 convicted criminal aliens — including murderers — were freed by the Obama administration last year, says Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies.

"Sen. Lindsey Graham [of South Carolina], who was member of the gang of eight that pushed for this comprehensive immigration reform bill, says this changes everything," Vaughan, whose organization uncovered the statistics, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"[He said] if they're releasing convicted murderers back into American communities, something is wrong. This is going to interfere with getting immigration reform done this year."

Other members of Congress, including Rep. Lamar Smith and Sen. John Cornyn, both of Texas, have asked the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further details on the releases, she said.

The Center for Immigration Studies uncovered documents that showed that 36,007 convicted criminal aliens were released while they were awaiting the outcome of their deportation hearings.

Among that number are 193 with murder convictions, 426 with sexual assault convictions and 303 kidnapping convictions. And there are more than 1,000 convictions for such crimes as aggravated assault and drunk driving.

"The administration told us over and over again that these were just petty crimes, minor crimes, nobody is a threat," said Vaughan, whose non-partisan think-tank explores the economic, social, demographic and fiscal impact of immigration on the United States.

"In fact, they often suggest that these criminal aliens are the victims of either racial profiling or discrimination or unlawful arrest or intimidation or something like that. I find someone who's convicted of homicide to be pretty intimidating for our community."

Vaughan said the Immigration and Customs claims 75 percent of the criminal aliens with homicide convictions were let go because of court orders.

"Which means, 25 percent of them were let go by ICE's choice. So, I'm not sure that is very reassuring,'' she said.

I think there’s some pretty serious both public safety implications to what is happening."

Vaughan said most of the mainstream media — with the exception of CBS — have not touched the story because it "interferes with their narrative that … the Obama administration has been tougher than anyone before them on immigration enforcement."

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