The Obama administration immigration’s policies have unnecessarily placed Americans in danger, according to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).
“The actions taken by the Obama Administration to weaken the interior enforcement of our immigration laws have created a public safety crisis,” Goodlatte said in a statement to Brietbart News Wednesday.
Tuesday, Breitbart News reported that a March “ICE Weekly Departures and Detention Report” revealed that 168,680 convicted criminal immigrants with final orders of removal remained at large in the U.S. and that another 179,018 convicted criminal immigrants with deportation cases pending were also out of detention.
“So-called enforcement priorities set forth by political appointees at the Department of Homeland Security allow many criminal aliens to evade the law and effectively release them back into American communities,” Goodlatte said.
“Additionally, the Administration refuses to detain many criminal aliens while their cases make their way through the court system, allowing them to disappear in the U.S. As a result of the Administration’s reckless policies, many released criminal aliens go on to commit more crimes. These policies are senseless and create preventable problems,” he added.
The revelation that more than 347,000 criminal immigrants are loose in the interior of the U.S. comes on the heels of the murder of Kate Steinle, allegedly by a multiple-deportee, multiple-felon illegal immigrant and as the Obama administration begins to implement its Priority Enforcement Program (PEP).
GOP lawmakers have criticized PEP — which the administration is putting in place of the congressionally mandated Secure Communities program — as a program that will lead to more criminals on the streets.
Last month Goodlatte slammed PEP, saying it would ensure the nation’s immigration laws are not enforced at the interior of the U.S.
“By scrapping a law enforcement tool that keeps our communities safe and replacing it with a new program that permits the release of criminal aliens, President Obama is needlessly endangering our communities. It’s past time for the Obama Administration to get its priorities straight and protect the American people instead of their political interests,” he said in June.
DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson is slated to appear before Goodlatte’s committee next week to testify about the Obama administration’s enforcement efforts.
“At next week’s hearing, members of the Committee will examine the Department’s abysmal record on immigration enforcement and seek answers as to why the Administration refuses to crack down on sanctuary cities. We must put an end to policies that needlessly endanger public safety,” Goodlatte said of the hearing Tuesday.