AUSTIN, Texas — In response to news that broke earlier this week that the 2,200 undocumented immigrants that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials released from detention facilities last year to save money included some who had been charged with or convicted of serious, violent criminal offenses, including kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking, and homicide, Texas Senator John Cornyn demanded a Senate hearing to investigate the matter.
Cornyn, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee, called for the hearing on Friday not only to investigate why these potentially dangerous criminals were released, but also to inquire about misrepresentations that the Obama administration had made to both Congress and the public. USA Today reported on Wednesday that John Morton, who was the ICE director at the time, spoke at House hearings last year and denied that any of the released detainees had been “charged or convicted with murder, rape or sexual abuse of a minor.” Jay Carney, the White House spokesperson had made similar misrepresentations, calling the released detainees “low-risk, non-criminal detainees.”
“Time and again this Administration has demonstrated it believes it is above the law — a mindset that’s been inherited from the top down,” said Cornyn in a statement released by his Senate office. “Today’s revelations indicate the Obama Administration released dangerous criminals into society and then misled Congress and the American people about it. I would urge Democrat leaders in the Senate to waste no time in convening a hearing to get to the bottom of this deception.”
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