Obama administration acknowledged releasing illegals who didn’t fit ‘priority’ for deportation

Letters obtained by The Daily Caller show the Obama administration has acknowledged releasing illegal immigrants from law enforcement custody and back into the general U.S. population even when they are outside the qualifications outlined in the president’s new immigration policy.

In March, the administration released an illegal alien from law enforcement custody for the reason that he did not “fit” any administrative “priority” for deportation.

On March 27, according to the Fox News Channel, a “veteran” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer and one of his colleagues “were conducting surveillance on a vehicle in Newark, Del. with [license] plates that were registered to a criminal alien target.”

“During the surveillance, they observed an individual get into the vehicle. The person was detained, questioned and taken to an ICE office so that his fingerprints could be run through a federal database,” Fox News’ Todd Starnes reported in August. “The individual was not their criminal alien target. However, he was a 35-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico who had ten previous traffic violations — including driving without a license.”

When that Fox story broke, National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council president Chris Crane said the ICE agent had exercised “prosecutorial discretion” and decided to “charge [the suspect] as being in the United States illegally and let the judge sort it out.”

That National ICE Council is a subset of the American Federation of Government Employees, an AFL-CIO member labor union. (RELATED: Immigrants don’t have to prove they meet DREAM Act criteria to avoid charges, ICE union chief says)

Political leaders inside ICE ordered the agent to release that criminal alien suspect, however. Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions wrote in a letter to ICE director John Morton on Aug. 3 that the suspect was released because he wasn’t a “presidential priority.”

When the ICE agent initially refused to release the suspect, he was threatened with retaliation from his superiors — a professional threat that continues to hang over his head.

In another letter to Morton, sent Tuesday, Sessions said the Delaware incident shows the nefarious intentions of the Obama administration’s immigration policy. It’s clear, he wrote, that the administration plans to use selective enforcement of immigration law to allow as many illegal aliens as possible to remain in the United States.

“It is difficult not to conclude from this and many other incidents that your agency is placing more emphasis on weakening enforcement procedures and releasing those apprehended than on supporting the officers who risk their lives every day to enforce the law,” Sessions wrote.

“The Administration goes to great lengths to publicly suggest that administrative amnesty is limited to those who entered this country by the age of 16, are currently not more than 30 years of age, are high school graduates or college students, and have exemplary records,” Sessions added. “But the Delaware incident demonstrates what we have long known: that the Administration’s non-enforcement policy applies to the overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants living in the United States — regardless of age, date of entry or, in many cases, even criminal history.”