Im­mi­grants’ crimes blunt mes­sage on de­por­ta­tion

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY STEPHEN DI­NAN

Im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials know­ingly re­leased dozens of mur­der­ers and thou­sands of drunken driv­ers back into the U.S. in 2013, ac­cord­ing to Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion sta­tis­tics that could un­der­cut the pres­i­dent’s ar­gu­ment that he is try­ing to fo­cus on the most se­ri­ous crim­i­nals in his im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment.

Among the 36,000 im­mi­grants whom U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment re­leased from cus­tody last year there were 116 with con­vic­tions for homi­cide, 43 for neg­li­gent man­slaugh­ter, 14 for vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter and one with a con­vic­tion clas­si­fied by ICE as “homi­cide-will­ful kill-pub­lic of­fi­cial-gun.”

The im­mi­grants were in de­por­ta­tion pro­ceed­ings, mean­ing ICE was try­ing to re­move them from the coun­try and could have held them in de­ten­tion but re­leased them any­way, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ter for Im­mi­gra­tion Stud­ies, which pub­lished the num­bers Mon­day. The Wash­ing­ton Times also ob­tained the data.

“This would be con­sid­ered the se­ri­ous crim­i­nals even with 34,000 de­ten­tion beds.

The 36,007 crim­i­nal aliens counted in the data had more than 87,000 con­vic­tions among them: 15,635 for drunken driv­ing, 9,187 for what ICE la­beled “dan­ger­ous drugs,” 2,691 for as­sault, 1,724 for weapons of­fenses and 303 for “flight es­cape” — a cat­e­gory that would seem to make them bad can­di­dates for re­lease.

The im­mi­grants are in ad­di­tion to the 68,000 other im­mi­grants that ICE of­fi­cers came across but didn’t put into de­por­ta­tion pro­ceed­ings.

ICE came un­der fire last year for re­leas­ing thou­sands of im­mi­grants and blam­ing it on the se­quester budget cuts. Among those re­leased were 622 crim­i­nals, in­clud­ing 24 with re­peated felony con­vic­tions so bad that the ad­min­is­tra­tion had to go re­cap­ture them.

Of­fi­cials later said it wasn’t the se­quester, but rather the reg­u­lar budget process that caused them to have to re­lease the im­mi­grants. They said they had been run­ning above the 34,000 de­ten­tion level for too long and would have had to cut de­ten­tion to aver­age out the num­bers.

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