Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, April 14, 2015
The administration is deporting fewer criminal aliens than it did last year, according to new statistics released Tuesday that undercut President Obama’s justification for his new amnesty, which he said was intended to free agents to focus on the most dangerous of criminals by focusing on “felons not families.”
Instead, both arrests and deportations of criminal aliens are down about 30 percent through the first six months of fiscal year 2015, signaling that agents, who have been told to stop focusing on rank-and-file illegal immigrants, have not been able to refocus on criminal illegal immigrants instead.
The data, released by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte at the beginning of a hearing with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldana, also showed that the 30,558 criminal aliens ICE knowingly released back into the community in 2014 had amassed nearly 80,000 convictions, including 250 homicides, 186 kidnappings and 373 sexual assaults.
According to the statistics, the aliens released by ICE had amassed 13,636 convictions for driving under the influence, 1,589 weapons offenses, 994 aggravated assaults, 56 arsons and 31 smuggling offenses.
The Obama administration has claimed that many of those releases are required by court order stemming from a years-old Supreme Court ruling, Zadvydas v. Davis, that says immigrants can’t be held indefinitely and if their home countries won’t take them back, they must eventually be released.
But the new numbers suggest those released are a small fraction. Of the nearly more than 30,000 criminal aliens released, only 2,457 were cut loose because of considerations stemming from the Zadvydas ruling, the House committee said. And for the serious crimes, only about half the homicide convictions and a third of the kidnapping convictions were Zadvydas-related releases.
ICE also says that even when people are released from detention, they are still being monitored and are supposed to check in, and to return for their court hearings.