In a settlement reached with plaintiffs represented by the ACLU on August 20, the federal government agreed to allow some illegal immigrants who returned to Mexico under the government’s “Voluntary Return” program to return to the United States.

According to an estimate from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the cost of educating the thousands of illegal immigrant children who have recently crossed the border is $761 million this school year.

In an August 15 letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Thomas Winkowski, principal deputy assistant secretary of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), acknowledged that in Fiscal Year 2013, ICE released 36,007 criminal aliens from ICE custody. The letter admitted that 169 of these had a “homicide-related conviction,” and that 131 have been “issued a final order of removal.” Furthermore, noted the letter, 154 of the 169 were released pursuant to court order or due to [the court case known as] Zadvydas.”

Official figures released recently by the Obama administration’s Health and Human Services Department indicate that our federal government has released 37,477 children or teenaged illegal aliens into “safe settings with sponsors” so far this year as of July 31. HHS’s “Office of Refugee Resettlement” compiled a county-by-county report that accounts for 29,890 or these youthful illegal aliens and indicates exactly how many were sent to each U.S. county.

As President Obama ponders his options for executive action on immigration reform, a rationale has emerged for the defense of such action.