Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials must appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer for the crimes committed by aliens and “the total collapse in removals of criminal aliens,” according to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).
According to the Republican lawmakers, ICE has failed to produce officials to testify due to “purported scheduling conflicts” on November 10. ICE pointed to scheduling conflicts again when presented with alternate dates.
“Moreover, we were informed that ICE could not be present because ‘the hearing isn’t in response to a particular crisis.’ We disagree, and as importantly, the performance of Congress’ oversight role is not contingent on a crisis,” Grassley, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sessions, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, wrote in a letter to ICE Director Sarah Saldaña.
The pair pointed to the Department of Homeland Security’s recent confirmation that there are currently 179,027 criminal aliens with final orders of removal at large in the U.S. and another 179,018 are active removal proceedings.
Additionally, Grassley and Sessions noted that from fiscal year 2013-2014 the Obama administration released 66,565 criminal aliens into the U.S. and 121 criminal aliens released by ICE have gone on to commit murder.
“And earlier this year, we heard testimony from family members of victims of crimes committed by criminal aliens. They also believe this issue is a crisis,” the pair wrote.
“When you were nominated to lead this agency, you committed to comply with testimony and oversight requests. Therefore, we expect representatives from your agency to provide testimony and answer questions asked by members of the Committee,” they added.
Grassley and Sessions concluded with an invitation to testify before the full committee “one of the dates that have been offered.”