U.S. re­leases crim­i­nal aliens de­nied re­turn to home

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - BY STEPHEN DINAN

Home­land Se­cu­rity agents re­lease crim­i­nal aliens back onto the streets with­out strict mon­i­tor­ing be­cause their home coun­tries refuse to take them back, the depart­ment’s in­spec­tor gen­eral con­cluded in a re­port that ex­poses se­ri­ous flaws in the sys­tem.

The re­port, re­leased this week, was prompted by the 2015 killing of a young woman, Casey Chad­wick, at the hands of Jean Jac­ques, a Haitian man who had served prison time for at­tempted mur­der but whose home coun­try re­fused to take him back.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors said agents did try to de­port Jac­ques but once Haiti re­fused, their hands were tied by a 2001 Supreme Court de­ci­sion that lim­ited the amount of time an im­mi­grant could be de­tained.

Once they re­leased Jac­ques, agents failed to keep close track of him and gave up on ef­forts to de­port him.

Within months of his 2015 re­lease from pa­role, he mur­dered Chad­wick, po­lice say.

The in­spec­tor gen­eral said the tragedy is em­blem­atic of the prob­lems U.S. Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment faces with “Zad­vy­das cases,” which are named af­ter the 2001 court de­ci­sion lim­it­ing the time im­mi­grants can be held to 180 days, ex­cept in ex­tra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stances.

“A [de­por­ta­tion of­fi­cer] has few tools avail­able to su­per­vise even an alien with a vi­o­lent crim­i­nal his­tory, such as Jac­ques,” In­spec­tor Gen­eral John Roth said in his re­port. “For ex­am­ple, ICE’s Al­ter­na­tives to De­ten­tion (ATD) Pro­gram places con­di­tions on aliens re­leased from cus­tody, such as elec­tronic bracelet mon­i­tor­ing and home vis­its. How­ever, the pro­gram is only avail­able for aliens who are re­mov­able in the fore­see­able fu­ture. Ad­di­tion­ally, the tools avail­able in ATD are used as a means of en­sur­ing a re­mov­able alien com­plies with court or­ders and does not flee, and the ATD Pro­gram is not aimed at de­ter­ring fu­ture crim­i­nal be­hav­ior.”

Of­fi­cers were un­able to mon­i­tor Jac­ques in the months af­ter his re­lease and didn’t fol­low through on pow­ers to com­pel Jac­ques to try to ob­tain a pass­port or other iden­ti­fy­ing doc­u­ments that would have per­suaded Haiti to take him back, Mr. Roth said.

Jac­ques served a 17-year prison sen­tence for at­tempted mur­der and then went back into cus­tody af­ter pa­role vi­o­la­tions. He was re­leased to ICE, which tried to de­port him, but Haiti re­fused three re­quests, say­ing it couldn’t be cer­tain of Jac­ques’ iden­tity.

Jac­ques killed Chad­wick in what po­lice said was an ap­par­ent dis­pute about drugs be­long­ing to the woman’s boyfriend.

Con­necti­cut law­mak­ers, who asked for the re­view af­ter the Chad­wick killing, said the find­ings were “noth­ing short of alarm­ing.”

“It is clear that more needs to be done to en­sure that our na­tion is us­ing ev­ery tool pos­si­ble to se­cure the re­moval of dan­ger­ous in­di­vid­u­als, ev­i­denced by the in­abil­ity of ICE to over­come Haiti’s ob­jec­tions to Jac­ques’ de­por­ta­tion. ICE lacks the frame­work for ef­fec­tive risk-based mon­i­tor­ing and su­per­vi­sion of re­leased in­di­vid­u­als like Jac­ques who have vi­o­lent crim­i­nal pasts,” Sen. Richard Blu­men­thal, Sen. Christo­pher Mur­phy and Rep. Joe Court­ney, all Democrats, said in a joint state­ment.

ICE said it was re­view­ing the in­spec­tor gen­eral’s re­port but that its agents fol­lowed the law in re­leas­ing Jac­ques.

“The Supreme Court’s 2001 de­ci­sion in Zad­vy­das v. Davis, the re­quire­ments of which ap­plied in the case of Jac­ques, lim­its ICE’s abil­ity to de­tain in­di­vid­u­als with fi­nal or­ders of re­moval,” the agency said. “Un­der the Zad­vy­das de­ci­sion, af­ter 180 days of post-or­der cus­tody, ICE is re­quired to re­lease in­di­vid­u­als for whom there is no sig­nif­i­cant like­li­hood of re­moval in the fore­see­able fu­ture.”

ICE said it is work­ing with the State Depart­ment to try to pres­sure other coun­tries to com­ply and that Haiti is not deemed to be par­tic­u­larly prob­lem­atic about tak­ing back its cit­i­zens.

Sev­eral thou­sand il­le­gal im­mi­grants are re­leased ev­ery year be­cause their home coun­tries won’t take them back. Some 35,000 con­victs from Cuba alone are on U.S. streets for that rea­son.

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