Obama Administration Released over 600 Illegal Immigrants with Criminal Convictions

Sharyl Attkisson, Daily Signal, August 12, 2014

More than 600 convicted criminals, including felons, were among thousands of illegal immigrants freed under the Obama administration in advance of 2013 budget cuts mandated under sequestration.

That’s according to a new report today from the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security.

According to the IG’s report, at least two-dozen “aliens” were released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement even though they were in a “mandatory detention category.” (After an internal review, ICE later redetained them.)

The report provides a scathing portrayal of budget mismanagement and flawed processes at the highest levels inside the nation’s immigration enforcement agency.

Politically Motivated Decisions?

The atmosphere leading up to sequestration in early 2013 was politically charged. President Obama claimed the automatic budget cuts would hurt the economy, health care and emergency responders, and that federal prosecutors would have to “let criminals go.”

Republicans accused the administration of trying to create the appearance of a crisis by making high-profile cuts they claimed were unnecessary, such as halting White House public tours and mass-releasing illegal immigrants.

During the three weeks leading up to sequestration, from Feb. 9 to March 1, ICE released 2,226 immigrant detainees—617 of whom had criminal convictions. Approximately 1,450 were freed the last weekend before sequestration. The field offices that released the most criminal convicts include Phoenix, Houston, Atlanta and Chicago.

‘Sharp and Immediate Reduction’

It was Radha Sekar, ICE’s chief financial Officer, who decided on the “sharp and immediate reduction in detention bed space,” according to the IG. The report did not describe other officials or processes involved in approving and implementing Sekar’s decision.

{snip} ICE was strapped by a stark increase in illegal immigrant apprehensions and had not developed contingency plans to address its budget shortfall.

About a week before sequestration, Sekhar notified the White House Office of Management and Budget of ICE’s funding problem and requested $22 million. But ICE inexplicably moved forward with the mass releases without waiting to hear whether the White House would provide the requested funds that would make the releases unnecessary.


Misinformation Provided to Congress and the Public

When the media and Congress began asking questions about the controversial releases in February and March of 2013, the IG says ICE executive leadership rushed answers and, in doing so, gave “inaccurate” information to Congress and the public.

In March 2013, when the Associated Press reported the administration had released more than 2,000 immigrants over a three-week period, Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano stated the AP story was “not really accurate” and that it had developed “its own mythology.”

“Several hundred [releases] are related to sequester, but it wasn’t thousands,” Napolitano stated incorrectly on March 4, 2013.

Nine days later, ICE director John Morton testified to Congress that his agency had, indeed, “released 2,228 aliens” (later revised to 2,226).


That much appears to be true. Today’s IG report states, “We obtained no evidence ICE sought or received guidance about the timing or nature of the detainee budgetary releases from [Napolitano] or the Executive Office of the President.”

Moreover, according to the report, ICE attorneys reviewed the releases and concluded the agency made reasonable decisions given the short time frame.


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  • MekongDelta69

    More than 600 convicted criminals, including felons, were among thousands of illegal immigrants freed under the Obama administration…

    And I’ll bet every one of them joined him to keep him company during his (never-ending) vacation, up in Martha’s Vineyard.

  • Extropico

    Is DHS aware that there are proper procedures to deport criminal aliens instead of releasing them.

  • Pro_Whitey

    So let criminal illegal aliens go, and prevent WWII veterans from getting to the WWII monument on the Mall.

    • JohnEngelman

      There is little popular support for specific cuts in government spending. A favorite Republican ploy is to tout the imaginary economic benefits of tax cuts, and then blame the resulting deficits and spending cuts on the Democrats.

      • WR_the_realist

        There are lots of good things to cut. Eliminate the TSA. Zero out the Department of Education. Politicians always cut the things they know the public doesn’t want cut, so they don’t have to cut the things they know could be cut. This is the fireman first principle.

        • JohnEngelman

          About Transportation Security Administration

          TSA was created to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems and ensure the freedom of movement for people and commerce. TSA uses a risk-based strategy and works closely with transportation, law enforcement and intelligence communities to set the standard for excellence in transportation security.


          Protect the Nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.


          That sounds important. Why don’t you like it? Eliminating that and the Department of Education will hardly make a dent in the Federal Budget.

          • WR_the_realist

            So forcing people to go through porno scanners and groping their private parts is now important? Sheesh, you sure love a police state. The Department of Education costs $40 billion a year, that’s more than a “dent”.

        • JohnEngelman

          Pew Research FEBRUARY 22, 2013

          As the March 1 deadline for a possible budget sequester approaches, a new national survey finds limited public support for reducing spending for a range of specific programs, including defense, entitlements, education and health care.

          For 18 of 19 programs tested, majorities want either to increase spending or maintain it at current levels. The only exception is assistance for needy people around the world. Nonetheless, as many say that funding for aid to the needy overseas should either be increased (21%), or kept the same (28%), as decreased (48%).

          • WR_the_realist

            Yes, in a democracy people always try to use government to force other people to pay for their free stuff. Were it not for using the government as an intermediary, this would be called theft.

          • JohnEngelman

            Dictatorships practice taxation too. The difference is that under a democracy most people determine the direction of government spending.

        • mobilebay

          First and foremost – eliminate all government waste. If that happens we’ll be on our way to reducing a big chunk of the national debt

  • JohnEngelman

    The criminal justice system, like aspects of the government, requires tax money. When budgets are cut, criminals are released, police officers are fired.

    • It becomes a political football like everything else. If you had budget cuts would you release murderers? No. But prison systems do this to make a political point and scare the public into reacting. Meanwhile more innocents die.

  • willbest

    Isn’t release 600 felons go a lot like firing 600 bullets into the air. And I think we are all in agreement that if you fired 600 bullets in the air and somebody was struck and killed, that would at a min. be manslaughter.

  • dd121

    My previous post got deleted so I’ll attempt to soften it.

    “Mr Obama is not a nice fellow. He often doesn’t follow the law or the Constitution. He deserves to be admonished”.

    • Nonhumans

      He deserves alot worse than admonishment.

      • dd121

        In my first post, I expressed a similar idea using stronger language. It got deleted.

        • Nonhumans

          Sometimes I also wonder why some of my posts don’t make it through. I figure its related to topic and which mod reviews the post. Usually, they are very even-handed. I have had a few that I thought were far from the line get deleted.

  • You have to wonder how many more European Americans wake up each day realizing they are at the mercy of an occupation government that is no longer legitimate. This will eventually become very dangerous for our open-borders overlords. True, there are greater numbers of third-worlders invading, amnestied and born each day, but Whites, once aroused, will prove to be more intelligent, resourceful and determined.

    • Nonhumans

      You left out dangerous.

      • Good point. Whites have demonstrated this in the past, but mostly by battling each other. I think now, except for liberals and cheap-labor types who will insist on battling with us so that they can go down with Ship Diversity, we will know better.

  • scutum

    Obama just released these folks to do the jobs American’s won’t do. Robbery, assault, rape and murder.

  • none of your business

    At least 300 of them will shortly be employed in your local supermarket, restaurants including dishwashers and lettuce choppers in fine dining places, janitors, construction and other jobs because of govt mandated diversity and capital’s endless search for cheap labor.
    Do you live in an apartment or condo? Remember Adrienne Shelley, writer and director of an excellent movie “The Waitress”. She was murdered in her apartment building by an illegal alien with criminal convictions. Who gave the illegal alien criminal the master key to the building and every apartment?

    The landlord who hired the illegal alien criminal to do some construction work. Who does your landlord, condo association or HOA hire for construction, gardening and as security guards? Who works in your local supermarket and has friends waiting outside to follow you home. Who is doing gardening or construction work on your street when your kids come home from school?
    Answer, illegal aliens many of whom have criminal convictions either here or at home.

  • none of your business

    “I’ll bet every one of them joined him to keep him company during his (never-ending) vacation, up in Martha’s Vineyard.”
    Actually, I’m sure that Martha’s Vineyard like every resort area, indeed every hotel in the country is already full of illegal alien criminal help.

  • none of your business

    The league of the South plans marches the last week of August and in September to protest the ethnic replacement of southerners. If you live in the south you might want to check out their website for dates and places.