The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) was able to obtain Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) records under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request indicating that ICE’s previous reports on the number of criminal offenses committed by illegal aliens it had released from custody had underreported the numbers — by over nine fold.
In July 2015, the House Judiciary Committee asked ICE for statistics on such aliens for FY 2014 and ICE reported that of the 30,558 criminal aliens it had released, instead of deported, 1,423 were convicted of additional criminal offenses.
However, those figures, as bad as they seemed at the time, proved to have been grossly underreported.
When the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) on FAIR’s behalf, requested ICE’s records for the time period in question (under the FOIA), they showed that the actual number of subsequent convictions accumulated by the criminal aliens was actually 13,288. The actual total, therefore, was 9.3 times higher than the previously reported number.
A report posted by FAIR on June 16 noted that the illegal aliens responsible for these 13,288 convictions were not considered sufficiently dangerous to be deported under ICE’s self-declared “priorities” for removal.
FAIR’s report noted the irony in ICE’s system of priorities, stating that the list of convictions for offenses committed by criminals illegal aliens that ICE release rather than deporting includes “homicide, kidnapping, assault, sexual assault, drunk driving, and other offenses.”
FAIR’s president, Dan Stein, said:
In recent years, the number of criminal aliens deported has plummeted, despite ample funds to remove many more. As a result of Obama administration policies that place protection of illegal aliens — including criminals — over the safety of the American public, thousands of people have been needlessly victimized.
An article posted by The New American on March 21 cited figures from the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) showing that, since 2010, the U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) had released at least 124 alien criminals charged with 135 homicides.
The author of the CIS study, Jessica Vaughn, stated: “A total of 121 criminal aliens who were freed by ICE over the five-year period between 2010 and 2014 were subsequently charged with homicide-related crimes within that time frame,” (Three more were charged in 2015.)
The CIS report continues:
These aliens were charged with a total of 135 homicide-related crimes after release. Two of them had homicide-related convictions even before they were released.
These aliens had 464 criminal convictions prior to release by ICE, ranging from drug crimes to DUI and other driving offenses to larceny and theft.
Another three aliens who were released by ICE during that time were charged with homicides during the first 10 months of FY2015, bring the total number of criminals aliens released by ICE who subsequently were charged with homicide to 124.
We noted in another article back in 2014 that ICE officials had released 67,879 illegal immigrants with criminal convictions in 2013 and made no move to deport them. That article cited ICE’s “Weekly Departures and Detention Report” for the end of fiscal year 2013 — a copy of which had been obtained by CIS through a lawsuit. The document showed that ICE agents encountered 193,357 illegal immigrants with criminal convictions in 2013, but issued charging documents for only 125,478. As noted above, 67,879 charged and/or convicted criminals were released.
CIS’s Vaughan also issued a memo about that report, stating: “ICE released 68,000 criminal aliens in 2013, or 35 percent of the criminal aliens encountered by officers. The vast majority of these releases occurred because of the Obama administration’s prosecutorial discretion policies.”
Vaughan noted further: “The Obama administration’s deliberate obstruction of immigration enforcement, in which tens of thousands of criminal aliens are released instead of removed, is threatening the well-being of American communities.”
Another article posted by The New American in 2012 indicates that the Obama administration’s lack of enforcement of immigration law extends back several years and is not improving.
The article quoted from the House Judiciary Committee’s summation of a report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), which stated:
The data provided to the House Judiciary Committee by DHS [Department of Homeland Security] includes 276,412 records of charges against illegal and criminal immigrants identified by Secure Communities between October 27, 2008 and July 31, 2011. There are 159,286 unique individuals in the database and 205,101 unique arrest incidents.
Secure Communities is a federal program that is supposed to help local police identify illegal aliens and deport them.
Foreign criminals who were rearrested committed some 60,000 crimes, the report said, adding,
Of those released, CRS found that about 17% of illegal and criminal immigrants, or 26,412, were rearrested on criminal charges. These 26,412 recidivists accounted for a total of 42,827 arrests and 57,763 alleged violations.
The categories of crimes charged include nearly 8,500 DUI (14.6%), over 6,000 Drug Violations (10.9%), more than 4,000 Major Criminal Offenses (7.1%), which includes murder, assault, battery, rape, and kidnapping, nearly 3,000 Theft (4.9%), and over 1,000 Other Violent Crimes (2.1%), which includes carjacking, child cruelty, child molestation, domestic abuse, lynching, stalking, and torture.
This list of crimes included 59 murders, 21 attempted murders, and 542 sex crimes.
Breitbart quoted a statement from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, (R-Va.) made in response to the FY 2015 numbers, warning that the Obama administration’s immigration policies are creating “a sanctuary for tens of thousands of criminal aliens.”
“The American public has been misled by the enforcement priorities, deferred action, and executive action policies of this Administration, which categorize only certain so-called ‘serious’ criminal aliens as worthy of detention and then removal,” Goodlatte said in his statement. He added, “Despite its rhetoric, the fact remains that the Obama Administration continues to willingly free dangerous criminal aliens, allowing them to continue to prey upon communities across the United States.”