As Barack Obama visits a prison in Oklahoma Thursday, the state’s senior Senator is calling on the president to address the criminal immigrant releases that have occurred under his administration.
“While President Obama is visiting the federal prison in El Reno, I hope he will address the most pressing issue in criminal justice reform, which is the 347,000 convicted criminal immigrants living in our communities today largely due to the president’s lax immigration policies,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said in a statement.
Inhofe referred to the more than 36,000 criminal immigrants released in 2013. Some 1,000 went on to commit additional crimes after their release including rape, terrorist threats and assault. He further noted last year’s release of 30,500 criminal immigrants with a combined total 79,000 convictions.
“This is happening not only because of a porous border, but also because current immigration policy simply releases into our neighborhoods criminal immigrants whose countries of origin will not accept their deportation,” Inhofe added. “President Obama has done nothing in his six years in office to resolve – much less discuss — this alarming loop hole in the criminal justice system.”
The Oklahoma Republican noted that he and Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), David Vitter (R-LA), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have introduced legislation to close a loophole allowing some criminal immigrants to be released back into the U.S. He also highlighted his co-sponsorship of Sessions’ Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act, which is aimed at tightening immigration enforcement.
“My colleagues and I in the Senate have introduced legislation addressing the immigration policies that are corroding our criminal justice system, and we will be taking more steps in the coming weeks to push this critical issue before the president and the rest of Congress,” Inhofe said.