Obama Illegal Alien Criminal Release Exposed by Judicial Watch

illegal immigrants
Washington, D.C.

Sanctuary cities are only part of the problem behind the deadly illegal alien crisis. Barack Obama’s administration has instituted “sanctuary” as a national policy.

Judicial Watch obtained records from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revealing that nearly 260 illegal alien criminals, including 40 incarcerated for violent crimes, were released from Arizona detention facilities during the last week of February and the first two weeks of March 2013.

This release begets lie after lie. After first denying that the mass release had taken place, the Obama administration claimed the releases were due to the anticipated sequestration budget cuts. The records were uncovered because of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch on behalf of Edward Tuffly, a Tucson, Ariz., resident.

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit for Mr. Tuffly in January 2015 after Homeland Security ignored his November 10, 2014, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seeking:

Records sufficient to identify all ICE detainees released in late February or early March 2013 from the following detention facilities due to alleged fiscal or budget uncertainty: (a) Central Arizona Correctional Center in Florence, Arizona: (b) Eloy Detention Center in Eloy, Arizona; (c) Florence Correctional Center in Florence, Arizona; (d) Florence SPC in Florence, Arizona; and (e) Pinal County Adult Detention Center in Florence, Arizona.

For each detainee identified in response to Request No.1, the I-213 form(s) documenting the detainee’s arrest.

For each detainee identified in response to Request No.1, records sufficient to identify: (a) the date the detainee was released; (b) the facility from which the detainee was released; (c) the detainee’s criminal history or criminal charges at the time of release; (d) methods of supervision to which the detainee was subjected; and (e) whether the detainee appeared for subsequent removal or other proceedings and/or was removed from the United States.

The date range for the requested records was February 22 through March 15, 2013. This was the exact time period during which Homeland Security released more than 2,000 illegal aliens nationwide, later claiming the release was “solely for budgetary reasons,” though none of the anticipated sequestration budget cuts had yet taken place.

From among the nearly 260 illegal aliens released from five Arizona correction facilities, almost 40 of them were violent criminals who had been arrested for crimes including assault, domestic violence, weapons offenses and battery. Nearly one in five had been arrested for drunk driving.

The full list is below:

  • Traffic Offense:  57
  • Driving Under Influence Liquor: 55
  • Disorderly Conduct: 15
  • Failure to Appear: 14
  • Illegal Entry: 13
  • Assault: 9
  • Drug Trafficking: 9
  • Shoplifting: 8
  • Larceny: 8
  • Making False Report: 6
  • Drug Possession: 6
  • Weapons Offense: 6
  • Forgery: 5
  • Domestic Violence: 4
  • Trespassing: 4
  • Damage Property: 4
  • Prostitution: 4
  • Liquor: 3
  • Marijuana: 3
  • Damage Property—Private: 3
  • Probation Violation: 3
  • Liquor Possession: 2
  • Identity Theft: 2
  • Battery: 2
  • Contributing to Delinquency of Minor: 2
  • Commercial Sex: 2
  • Fraud—False Statement: 2
  • Fraud—Impersonating: 2
  • Public Order Crimes: 2
  • Violation of a Court Order: 2
  • Robbery—Street Gun: 2
  • Robbery: 2
  • Narcotics Equip—Possession: 2
  • Intimidation: 2
  • Morals—Decency Crimes:  1
  • Identity Theft: 1
  • Cruelty Toward Wife: 1
  • Smuggling: 1
  • Smuggling Aliens: 1
  • Fraud: 1
  • Licensing Offense: 1
  • Stolen Vehicle: 1
  • Licensing Violation: 1
  • Obstruct Criminal Investigation: 1
  • Firing Weapon: 1
  • Resisting Officer: 1
  • Burglary Tools—Possession: 1
  • Threat to Burn: 1
  • Receive Stolen Property: 1
  • Hit and Run: 1
  • Obstruct Police: 1
  • Possession of a Weapon: 1

The Obama administration is refusing to divulge the names of the released criminals, which prevents law enforcement from protecting the public or notifying victims. Local authorities in Arizona, such as Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, have tried unsuccessfully to obtain information about this and other criminal alien releases by the Obama administration.

In 2014, a Judicial Watch lawsuit forced the release of 76 pages of DHS documents revealing that, as of April 26, 2014, the Obama administration had released 165,900 convicted criminal aliens throughout the United States, including many convicted of such violent crimes as homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping and aggravated assault. The reports Judicial Watch had at that time also showed that ICE had released another 30,000 in the most recent fiscal year, which brought the grand total of known criminals released by the Obama administration to 195,900. That number – and the attendant threat to the safety of every American – is clearly on the rise.

Judicial Watch is a long-time national leader in advocating for a rule-of-law approach to illegal immigration. This work includes exposing and challenging dangerous sanctuary policies in states like Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and Arizona, and cities like Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and more.

For example, in 2011, as a result of Judicial Watch’s work, San Francisco was ordered to end its sanctuary policy that protected aliens arrested for certain drug offenses from being reported to ICE.  Judicial Watch is now investigating whether the city violated the law again with its sanctuary policy that led to the release of Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal immigrant who had been deported five times and who admittedly gunned down Kate Steinle at one of the most popular tourist spots in San Francisco.

Judicial Watch also filed a lawsuit in Chicago challenging Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s refusal to honor ICE immigration detainers or cooperate with ICE in identifying deportable criminal aliens. Cook County jails had released well over 1,000 criminal aliens sought by ICE in the 18 months prior the lawsuit’s filing in 2013. The suit is now before the Illinois Supreme Court.

The lawsuit, Brian McCann v. Thomas J. Dart, was filed on behalf of lifetime Chicago resident Brian McCann, whose brother William “Denny” McCann, was run over and killed in June 2011 by an unlawfully present criminal alien who had just completed a two-year term of probation for a 2009 DUI conviction. The alien, Saul Chavez, was charged with felony aggravated driving under the influence, but was released by the sheriff from a Cook County jail in November 2011 despite an ICE immigration detainer.

And that doesn’t count how many victims of illegal alien criminals the United States has informally aided or consoled over the years.

Unlike politicians expressing outrage a day late and a dollar short about sanctuary policies, Judicial Watch has been fighting sanctuary policies with success in the courts and in the public square for years (for instance, see this 2007 story from Fox News).

The Obama administration is obsessed with supporting nationwide sanctuary and unlawful amnesty for illegal aliens – even illegal aliens who have committed violent crimes. These new documents show the Obama administration’s soft-on-crime approach to illegal alien crime is a clear and present danger to the safety of innocent Americans. Obama is the sanctuary president, to the detriment of murder victims like Kate Steinle.


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