36,007 criminal illegal immigrants were released from ICE custody in 2013, an average of nearly 100 per day.
Immigration officials knowingly released hundreds of murderers and other dangerous criminals back into the U.S. in 2013 according to ICE statistics. The data raises questions about which immigrants to detain and which to release as they await court hearings and action on deportation.
2013 ICE document reveals that the 36,007 convicted criminal aliens freed from ICE custody in many instances had multiple convictions. Among them, the 36,007 had nearly 88,000 convictions, including:
- 193 homicide convictions (including one willful killing of a public official with gun)
- 426 sexual assault convictions
- 303 kidnapping convictions
- 1,075 aggravated assault convictions
- 1,160 stolen vehicle convictions
- 9,187 dangerous drug convictions
- 16,070 drunk or drugged driving convictions
- 303 flight escape convictions
This document raises questions about the Obama administration’s management of enforcement resources, as well as its enforcement plans and priorities. For instance, a series of directives to ICE agents and officers known as “prosecutorial discretion”, and the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, have made certain broad categories of illegal aliens off-limits for enforcement.
These policies have forced ICE officers in the field to avoid or cease deportation action in thousands of cases, even in cases of aliens charged with or convicted of crimes. ICE officers have testified in federal court that some arrested aliens have claimed to be eligible for DACA knowing that they likely will be released from custody and from immigration charges without verification of their claims. ICE should be asked to disclose how many and which of the 36,007 criminal alien releases occurred due to these recent policy changes.
These figures call into question President Obama’s request to Congress for permission to reduce immigration detention capacity by 10 percent in favor of permission to make wider use of experimental alternatives to detention. These alternatives already are subject to serious questions about their efficacy and cost, and ICE’s methodology for evaluating the results needs to be carefully scrutinized.
The reduced detention bed-space request, submitted as part of the executive branch’s budget plan, comes at a time in which ICE’s detention space needs are expanding due to rapidly increasing illegal arrivals along parts of the southwest border and continued high numbers of criminal aliens encountered by agents in the interior. The news that ICE released so many criminal aliens convicted of so many serious and violent crimes suggests that ICE could use more detention capacity, not less, in order to prevent further harm to the public from these individuals. ICE should be asked to track and disclose what additional crimes may have been committed by these individuals after their release. Center for Immigration Studies
Online: Center for Immigration Studies: ICE Document Details 36,000 Criminal Alien Releases in 2013
Washington Times: Feds released hundreds of immigrant murderers, drunk drivers, sex-crimes convicts