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Friday, April 4, 2014

Criminal Justice Quote: Illegal Aliens Convicted of Other Crimes Not Deported

     Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released 68,000 foreign nationals who had criminal convictions last year [2013] instead of pursuing deportation, according to newly uncovered documents--a statistic one senator says represents an enforcement crisis. The internal documents were obtained and published by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a Washington D.C.-based group that advocates stricter immigration enforcement. According to the documents and the group's analysis, ICE agents reported encountering 193,000 "criminal aliens" in 2013, but only targeted 125,000 for deportation. a total of 67,879 were released. CIS called it a "large scale abuse of authority."

     "The Obama administration's deliberate obstruction of immigration enforcement, in which tens of thousands of criminal aliens are released instead of removed, is threatening the well-being of American communities," study author Jessica Vaughan said in a statement. "It's not a matter of if, but how many families will suffer harm as a result."

     The statistics challenge repeated claims by the administration that, when weighing whether to pursue deportation, they are prioritizing cases where the illegal immigrant in question has been convicted of a crime. Indeed, the documents show that those with a criminal record are far more likely to be targeted for deportation than those without one. But they also show the agency is letting thousands who have a criminal record off the hook.

     The CIS report said factors such as "family relationships, political considerations, or attention from advocacy groups" are likely helping to "trump criminal convictions as a factor leading to deportation."…

     The ICE documents did not break down the types of criminal activity that those allowed to stay in the country had been convicted of. But the CIS report noted a 2012 report by House Republicans that tracked 26,000 illegal and criminal immigrants who were re-arrested and found they were tied to 58,000 crimes and violations--many of them drunken driving arrests, but also major criminal offenses like murder and rape….

Judson Berger, "Enforcement 'Crisis'? Documents Show 68,000 'Criminal Aliens' Released Last Year," Fox News, March 31, 2014


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