Remember the outrage when it was discovered that DHS was using last year’s sequestration as a pretext to release thousands of illegal immigrants with criminal convictions? 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 who were calling him unofficially. 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.”
Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano called that a “myth.”
“There was a story that ran last week that said ‘we released 2,000 detainees because of sequester’ Napolitano said, mocking the hype inferred by the headline.
“That is really not accurate,” she insisted.
“That was not a Politico story by the way,” Allen responded.
“It was not a Politico story, I will hasten to say, and I won’t say who put it out there,” Napolitano added. “But as in all things immigration it develops its own mythology.
Well, here’s your “myth” and I will hasten to add that it was not the Politico who “put it out there.” It was an internal document from DHS itself:
Via The Hill:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials last year released 68,000 illegal immigrants with criminal convictions, undercutting Democratic claims that President Obama has strictly enforced immigration laws.
An internal Department of Homeland Security document compiling statistics on arrests and deportations in 2013 showed that ICE agents encountered 193,357 illegal immigrants with criminal convictions but issued charging documents for only 125,478. More than 67,800 were released.
The data came from an end-of-year “Weekly Departures and Detention Report.”
ICE classifies illegal immigrants as criminal if they have been convicted of a crime, not including traffic offense, Vaughn noted.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee, blasted the administration’s record.
“The preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that immigration enforcement in America has collapsed. Even those with criminal convictions are being released. DHS is a department in crisis,” he said in a statement Sunday.
“Secretary Johnson must reject the president’s demands to weaken enforcement further and tell him that his duty, and his officers’ duty, is to enforce the law – not break it,” he added in reference to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
A spokeswoman for ICE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
So what kind of criminals has ICE been releasing – 68,000 in one year – into the population?
Last year, while the controversy was raging, Sheriff Babeu explained in terrifying detail just how bad some of these guys are:
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, a year ago that “several memos have 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.”
And the beat goes on. We’ve got three more years of this God-awful nightmare to go.
The Obama administration is deporting only about a quarter of the illegal immigrants it picks up, even though most come to their attention because of proven or alleged criminal behavior, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, a conservative group.
From the CIS report:
In 2013, (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) reported 722,000 encounters with potentially deportable aliens, most of whom came to their attention after incarceration for a local arrest. Yet ICE officials followed through with immigration charges for only 195,000 of these aliens, only about one-fourth . . .
Many of the aliens ignored by ICE were convicted criminals. In 2013, ICE agents released 68,000 aliens with criminal convictions, or 35 percent of all criminal aliens they reported encountering. The criminal alien releases typically occur without formal notice to local law enforcement agencies and victims.
Hat tip: AoSHQ