Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, June 15, 2015
More than 100 immigrants the Obama administration released back into the community went on to be charged with subsequent murders, according to government data released Monday that raises new questions about whether immigration authorities are doing enough to detail illegal immigrants awaiting deportation.
In one case, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) admitted its agents didn’t find out about an illegal immigrant’s death threats and court injunctions against him–which should have put him back in detention–until after the man was accused of a new murder.
That case, involving Apolinar Altamirano, is the latest instance of someone who’d been through the Obama administration deportation system but had been released, only to go on to commit major crimes.
ICE officials say they don’t regularly notify local authorities when they release someone, and don’t have a way of finding out from those authorities whether someone has gotten in trouble with the law again, so they didn’t know whether Mr. Altamirano’s $10,000 bond should have been revoked.
All told, 121 immigrants who were held but eventually released by ICE went on to commit “homicide-related offenses,” the agency said.
It said 33 of those were ordered by immigration courts and another 24 were released because of a 2001 Supreme Court decision capping the time an immigrant can be detained to six months. But a majority of the releases were discretionary, meaning ICE had the option of keeping them detained.
The Washington Times reported last week that most of those released on electronic monitoring violated some condition of their release–though few actually were deemed serious enough to have their release revoked.