[Obama’s] ICE Released 19,723 Criminal Aliens In 2015

by Marguerite Telford –

WASHINGTON, DC (April 29, 2017) — A new analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies examines the alarming rate at which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to release deportable criminal aliens. The data are broken down by state of release and type of conviction. These releases, and the resulting safety threat, were the topic for yesterday’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing.

The analysis is available here: http://cis.org/vaughan/ice-releases-19723-criminal-aliens-2015.

Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s director of policy studies and author of the report, commented, “It’s time for the Obama administration to stop making excuses and blaming others and to start reversing its own policies that are responsible for these releases, and to sign on to constructive legislation, before more people are harmed.”

In 2015, ICE freed 19,723 criminal aliens, who had a total of 64,197 convictions among them, or 3.25 convictions per released alien. These included 8,234 violent convictions and 208 homicide convictions. Statistics show that the majority of offenders will go on to commit additional crimes.

Vaughan writes, “While the total number of releases is lower than the past two years, since the number of arrests has declined quite dramatically, the rate of releases is approximately the same — meaning that this is no progress at all, and certainly will be no consolation for the victims of these criminal aliens.”

More than half the releases occurred due to an immigration judge decision. In many cases, ICE shares responsibility for these decisions, depending on how vigorously the ICE attorneys argue for detention.

In more than 2,100 cases, the criminal alien was released because his/her home country refused to take him/her back, and ICE is not permitted to hold the alien for more than 180 days. “Uncooperative” countries include: Afghanistan, Algeria, Burundi, Cape Verde, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, and Zimbabwe. The administration has refused to limit visa issuance in such countries, even though it is legally mandated to do so.

A new group of criminal aliens could join the released population in communities around the country. If legislation (companion bills S. 2123 and H.R. 3713) presently before Congress to retroactively reduce minimum sentencing requirements passes, tens of thousands of deportable criminal aliens would be released from federal prisons.

Interactive map shows criminal aliens releases by state

Source: http://cis.org/vaughan/ice-releases-19723-criminal-aliens-2015

Contact: Marguerite Telford
202-466-8185, mrt@cis.org

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