The MSM is finally waking up to a story that should have caused a firestorm when it hit the news over 18 months ago.
Records have come to light that prove the Obama administration was lying when it repeatedly told the public and Congress that the thousands of illegal immigrants who were released from jail had minor criminal records and were no threat to the public.
Starting in February of 2013 – if the MSM was interested – there were ICE and Border Patrol whistleblowers who were saying that serious criminals were being released.
While the controversy was raging, Sheriff Babeu of Pinal County, AZ told Jed Babbin of The American Spectator that he was receiving frantic calls from ICE and Border Patrol agents. Babeu said, “Good people who work for ICE, work for Border Patrol, they call me all the time.…They said, ‘Sheriff, help us. We’re releasing all these criminals. This order just came down from Washington and now they’re all out in the streets.”
Pinal County Sheriff, Paul Babeu noted that among those released were criminals who had been “convicted not just charged – convicted for weapons violations, drug smuggling, (these are cartel members, these are narcotic traffickers!), drug dealers, these are people who have been in fights, and aggravated assaults against police officers…. How in the world can you say these are low risk, non criminal detainees?! These are the worst of the worst. These are people who have been convicted of child molestation! We have people who have been released, I’ve been told by ICE agents, who have been charged with man-slaughter.”
Where are the whistleblowers? Babeu told Jeanine Pirro that “several memos had been sent out to ICE agents about the prisoner releases, and anyone who talked about it “outside our agency shall be disciplined up to and including termination, creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.” He said, “these federal agents, who swore an oath to protect our country, are being intimidated from doing the right thing.”
But Jay Carney and ICE Chief John Morton insisted the released detainees were “low risk” and “non-criminal” – and the MSM apparently took their word for it, because that outrageous scandal – like so many other outrageous scandals – simply disappeared from the news.
So now, all these months later, the truth comes out.
The records, obtained by USA TODAY, show immigration officials released some undocumented immigrants who had faced far more serious criminal charges, including people charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking and homicide.
You don’t say! You mean members of the Obama administration were *GASP* not being open and honest with the American people?
The release sparked a furor in Congress. Republican lawmakers accused the Obama administration of setting dangerous criminals free. In response, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it had released “low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal records,” a claim the administration repeated to the public and to members of Congress.
The new records, including spreadsheets and hundreds of pages of e-mails, offer the most detailed information yet about the people ICE freed as it prepared for steep, across-the-government spending cuts in February 2013. They show that although two-thirds of the people who were freed had no criminal records, several had been arrested or convicted on charges more severe than the administration had disclosed.
ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen acknowledged the discrepancy. She said “discretionary releases made by ICE were of low-level offenders. However, the releases involving individuals with more significant criminal histories were, by and large, dictated by special circumstances outside of the agency’s control.”
In hearings last year, Republican lawmakers pressed then-ICE Director John Morton for specifics on the criminal records of the people the agency had freed. At one, Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-Va., asked Morton directly, “No one on that list has been charged or convicted with murder, rape or sexual abuse of a minor, were they?”
Morton answered, “They were not.”
He told lawmakers that, to his knowledge, none had faced child pornography charges.
White House spokesman Jay Carney similarly described them as “low-risk, non-criminal detainees.”
Of course, Jay Carney, Janet Napolitano and John Morton are all no longer with the Obama administration having moved on to find other ways to mislead the public.
Neil Cavuto had Sheriff Babeu on his Fox show to talk about the “new” revelations.
He said they had released hundreds criminals right into his county in Arizona and “five courageous whistleblowers within ICE” had contacted him about what was going on. When he went to the media, (only conservative media ran with it) he was accused of lying.
“It went all the way up to the White House and they knowingly lied,” Babeu charged. “It wasn’t me – it was them and there was 2,228 released in California, Arizona, Texas and Georgia. The most troubling part of this story, now that it’s been exposed is that this administration knowing lied, releasing… two in my county that were charged with manslaughter, people who were charged, convicted of child molestation, aggravated assault against police officers, armed robbery…”
He added, “the worst part is we still don’t know their names and where they were released to this very moment…”
Anticipating Obama’s promised executive action on amnesty, Babeu said he’s calling on Congress to “please take action to stop the president from taking action with unilateral powers he doesn’t have.”
Cavuto wondered why it would be the Obama administration’s interest to release these criminals into the populous.
Babeu reminded him that it started during the Sequestration when the Regime was trying to pressure Congress by “turning up the volume of the pain.”
In March of 2013, an irate Rep. Trey Gowdy pressed then ICE Director Morton on the release of criminal detainees.
“It does look like the decision to release the detainees was a political determination and not a monetary determination,” Gowdy said. “It appears to me that the release of the detainees was part of a sequester campaign that included the fictional firing of teachers, the closing of the White House for student tours, the displacement of meat inspectors and now we are going to release aggravated felons—some aggravated felons onto the street.”