Lamar Smith Calls ICE Release of 36,000 Criminal Immigrants a President-Sanctioned Prison Break
Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith reacted harshly to a new report detailing the crimes committed by 36,007 criminal immigrants that Immigration and Customs Enforcement released last year.
“This would be considered the worst prison break in American history, except it was sanctioned by the President and perpetrated by our own immigration officials. These criminal immigrants should have been deported to ensure that they could never commit crimes on U.S. soil. But instead, ICE officials chose not to detain them and instead released them back onto American streets,” Smith said in a statement Monday.
An internal Department of Homeland Security document obtained by the Center for Immigration Studies, a limited immigration group, and shared with Breitbart News Monday revealed that last year ICE released 36,007 criminal immigrants who had nearly 88,000 convictions.
The document further broke down the crimes and number of convictions – including 193 homicide convictions, 426 sexual assault convictions, 303 kidnapping convictions, and 1,075 aggravated assault convictions.
CIS detailed the document’s findings in a report Monday morning, explaining that ICE prepared the document in response to congressional inquiries seeking additional information about the number of criminal aliens released into the United States and the crimes for which they were convicted.
Smith was one of the members of Congress who pressed DHS for these answers.
The congressman actually did receive a response from DHS earlier this year explaining that ICE did release 36,007 criminal aliens. DHS also included a breakdown of the kinds of offenses but did not include the number of offenses per type of crime.
“Obama administration officials want the American people to think these individuals were guilty of minor, petty offenses,” Smith said. “But the convictions tell a chilling story. Among those released were criminal immigrants convicted of murder, rape, kidnapping, drunk driving, and aggravated assault.”
The Texas congressman added that immigration reform should be off the table until laws currently on the books are enforced.
“There should be no discussion of reforming our nation’s immigration laws until the President enforces the laws currently on the books. The safety of the American people should be the President’s top priority. We need a President who follows the law and deports criminal immigrants who violate our laws and endanger our lives.”
ICE has not responded to the CIS report, but told Breitbart News Monday morning they are looking into it.