Il­le­gals be­come re­peat crim­i­nals

Many re­ar­rested mul­ti­ple times

The Washington Times Weekly - - Front Page - By Jerry Seper

Crim­i­nal aliens set free on the streets of Amer­ica — in­stead of be­ing de­ported af­ter serv­ing their time — are be­ing re­ar­rested as many as six more times by U.S. au­thor­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to a gov­ern­ment au­dit re­leased Jan. 8.

But the Jus­tice De­part­ment’s Of­fice of In­spec­tor Gen­eral said it did not know how many of 262,105 il­le­gals in the au­dit, who had been charged with a crime and then re­leased, had been re­ar­rested.

In­spec­tor Gen­eral Glenn A. Fine said that the vol­ume of avail­able files “was too great to search man­u­ally and quan­tify the re­sults” and that in­ves­ti­ga­tors in­stead se­lected a sam­ple of 100 il­le­gal aliens ar­rested in 2004 and re­viewed their crim­i­nal his­to­ries for ev­i­dence of re­ar­rests.

Mr. Fine noted that al­though the lim­ited au­dit did not find any in­stances of “out­right fail­ure” to co­op­er­ate with Home­land Se­cu­rity in the re­moval of crim­i­nal aliens from the United States, a re­view of the 100 crim­i­nal his­to­ries “pro­duced re­sults that, if in­dica­tive of

the full pop­u­la­tion of crim­i­nal aliens iden­ti­fied, sug­gest that the rate at which re­leased crim­i­nal aliens are re-ar­rested is ex­tremely high.”

The91-pageau­dit,which­was­re­quested by Congress, said the lim­ited sam­pling found that of the 100 se­lected aliens, 73 had an av­er­age of six ar­rests each af­ter be­ing re­leased from cus­tody. They were ar­rested, col­lec­tively, 429 times on 878 charges, rang­ing from traf­fic vi­o­la­tions and tres­pass­ing to drug crimes, bur­glary, rob­bery, as­sault and weapons vi­o­la­tions.

The au­dit found that lo­cal ju­ris­dic­tions “pri­or­i­tize en­force­ment of state and lo­cal laws, while some­times per­mit­ting or en­cour­ag­ing law-en­force­ment of­fi­cers” to work with Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment (ICE).

Last year, Congress re­quired an an­nual au­dit as part of the Jus­tice De­part­ment’s State Crim­i­nal Alien As­sis­tance Pro­gram (SCAAP), which pro­vides fed­eral fund­ing to states and lo­cal­i­ties for the costs of in­car­cer­at­ing crim­i­nal aliens on state or lo­cal charges. The pro­gram is ad­min­is­tered by the Jus­tice De­part­ment in con­junc­tion with ICE, which is part of Home­land Se­cu­rity.

Dur­ing fis­cal 2005, Jus­tice dis­trib­uted $287.1 mil­lion in SCAAP pay­ments to 752 state, county and lo­cal ju­ris­dic­tions — nearly 70 per­cent of which went to 10 ju­ris­dic­tions: the states of Cal­i­for­nia, New York, Texas, Florida, Ari­zona, Illi­nois and Mas­sachusetts; New York City; and two Cal­i­for­nia coun­ties, Los An­ge­les and Orange.

The re­port also said in­ves­ti­ga­tors iden­ti­fied an of­fi­cial “sanc­tu­ary” pol­icy for two ju­ris­dic­tions that re­ceived at least $1 mil­lion in SCAAP fund­ing: Ore­gon, which re­ceived $3.4 mil­lion, and the city and county of San Fran­cisco, which re­ceived $1.1 mil­lion and has des­ig­nated it­self a “city and county of refuge.”

In ad­di­tion, an ex­ec­u­tive or­der is­sued in New York City lim­its the en­force­ment of im­mi­gra­tion law by lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, the re­port said.

The au­dit de­fined “sanc­tu­ary” as a ju­ris­dic­tion that may have state laws, lo­cal or­di­nances or de­part­men­tal poli­cies lim­it­ing the role of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in the en­force­ment of im­mi­gra­tion laws.

The au­dit also ex­am­ined the level of co­op­er­a­tion among fed­eral, state and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, but found “con­flict­ing views be­tween ICE and lo­cal ju­ris­dic­tions as to what ac­tions con­sti­tute full co­op­er­a­tion.”

“Congress did not de­fine ‘fully co­op­er­ate,’ nor did our re­view of im­mi­gra­tion leg­is­la­tion dis­close any spe­cific steps that lo­cal­i­ties are re­quired to take to help ef­fect the re­moval of crim­i­nal aliens from the United States,” the au­dit said.

The re­port also found that among 164 state and lo­cal agen­cies sur­veyed:

30 ju­ris­dic­tions do not gen­er­ally ask those ar­rested about their im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus.

17 said they do not in­form ICE when they have some­one they sus­pect may be an il­le­gal alien in cus­tody. Some agen­cies said they do not in­form ICE about pos­si­ble il­le­gals in cus­tody be­cause they don’t think ICE will re­spond.

18 ju­ris­dic­tions do not alert ICE be­fore re­leas­ing un­doc­u­mented crim­i­nal aliens.

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