Unsettling new federal data shows 121 convicted criminals who faced deportation orders between 2010 and 2014 were released back to the streets and now face subsequent murder charges. This has prompted a demand by two GOP lawmakers for the Obama administration to "save American lives" from undocumented felons.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement figures also show of the 121 undocumented felons, 33 were released on bond following their crimes and 24 were released because ICE was unable to complete the deportation within the legally required 180 days, according to Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley
, chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
"This disturbing fact follows ICE’s admission that, of the 36,007 criminal aliens it released from ICE custody in … 2013, 1,000 have been re-convicted of additional crimes in the short time since their release," Grassley and Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions say in a letter to Attorney Gen. Loretta Lynch, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson. The pair are demanding answers to a long list of questions about the releases.
According to Grassley, ICE has explained not everyone with criminal convictions who face deportation are required to be detained under the law, and that those ordered to be deported must be released from ICE custody if deportation isn’t completed within 180 days to comply with a Supreme Court decision known as Zadvydas v. Davis
"This can occur if the receiving nation fails to supply the necessary travel documents within the allotted six months," Grassley notes in a news release.
According to the Arizona Republic
, almost 5,000 undocumented immigrants in Arizona were included in the newest ICE data; of those, 148 subsequently were convicted of a crime — including convicted burglar Apolinar Altamirano, who though sentenced to two years' probation in 2012, was released on bond after an immigration hearing and allegedly killed a convenience store clerk last January.
"It's unacceptable that ICE continues to endanger communities in Arizona by releasing these undocumented immigrants with criminal records," Arizona GOP Sen. Jeff Flake said in a statement, the Arizona Republic reports. "That they do so without even notifying state and local law enforcement is appalling."
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