Over 36,000 criminals, including almost 200 murderers, were released back into the U.S. by immigration officials in 2013, according to fresh federal statistics obtained by Breitbart Texas. The figures, which were gathered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), were outlined in a report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).
According to the CIS, the 36,000 criminals were collectively convicted of 88,000 crimes. These convictions include 426 sexual assaults, 303 kidnappings, 193 homicides, 1,317 domestic violence assaults, and 1,724 weapon offenses.
The report states that the immigrants were being processed for deportation at the time they were released. ICE could have held these individuals in detention, “but released them anyway,” according to a report by the Washington Times. The CIS added that many of the releases were likely “discretionary,” and not in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act.
In her analysis of the newly-released figures, Jessica Vaughan, the director of policy studies at the CIS wrote, “This document raises questions about the Obama administration’s management of enforcement resources, as well as its enforcement plans and priorities. … The news that ICE released so many criminal aliens convicted of so many serious and violent crimes suggests that ICE could use more detention capacity, not less, in order to prevent further harm to the public from these individuals. ICE should be asked to track and disclose what additional crimes may have been committed by these individuals after their release.”
The statistics could not have been released at a more inconvenient time for the Obama administration, which has vehemently claimed that it is aiming enforcement at dangerous individuals.
Vaughan said, “We keep hearing from the administration that they are focused like a laser on enforcement against the worst of the worst, convicted criminals, as their top priority. On the other hand, they are releasing, at a rate of about 100 a day, aliens from their custody with criminal convictions, and many of them are serious criminal convictions.”
The fresh statistics suggest that political motives, rather than public safety motives, are behind the Obama administration’s deportation policies. Over the last several years, numerous advocacy groups have demanded that the administration drastically reduce the total number of deportations.
Since 2009, deportations have decreased over 40 percent due to the Obama administration using “prosecutorial discretion” for many cases. Critics of this practice claim the U.S. has become less safe in recent years, due to undocumented criminals who may no longer fear being deported. Often it is Border Patrol agents who are the victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants–many of whom have lengthy criminal histories but remain in the U.S. regardless.
Vaughan concluded, “Aliens with serious criminal convictions have been allowed to return to the streets instead of being removed to their home countries. … [Department of Homeland Security] DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson is on the verge of announcing the results of a review of deportation policies, ordered by the president in response to immigrant advocacy group protests. Lawmakers and the public must insist that DHS fully disclose and be held accountable for the public safety impact of any additional deportation policy changes.”
Perhaps the recent revelation that 36,007 criminals were released bak onto the U.S. streets, rather than detained or sent back to their home countries, will prompt a closer look at current ICE practices and their effectiveness.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.