House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) expressed outrage at a new report detailing the 36,007 convicted criminal immigrants released back into the United States last year.
“Regardless of one’s position on the larger immigration reform question, it’s incredibly alarming that tens of thousands of convicted criminal aliens – including hundreds of murderers, kidnappers, and rapists – who were processed for deportation are being freed into our communities by the Obama Administration,” Goodlatte and Smith said in a joint statement Monday.
“The truth is that most could be detained by immigration enforcement authorities if the Administration had the will to do so. These criminals should be locked up, not roaming our streets,” they added.
Monday the Center for Immigration Studies released a report detailing data from an internal document, breaking down the 36,007 released criminal immigrants’ nearly 88,000 convictions – including 193 homicide convictions, 16,070 drunk or drugged driving convictions, 9,187 dangerous drug convictions, and 426 sexual assault convictions.
“Unfortunately, history tells us that many will go on to become fugitives from the law and commit additional crimes against American citizens and law-abiding immigrants. We must hold the Department of Homeland Security accountable for its actions and make sure it does everything possible to protect U.S. citizens from dangerous criminal aliens,” the pair said.
In April the House Judiciary Committee pressed DHS for the information contained in the report, following up on an earlier inquiry Smith made in February. According to the committee DHS has yet to respond to their April letter.
“This information is important to inform Congress about the problem of criminal aliens so that we make the right policy decisions moving forward,” Goodlatte and Smith said. “The Committee plans to hold an oversight hearing on DHS in the coming weeks and will expect Secretary Johnson to come clean and provide the Committee with answers to our questions.”