Federal immigration authorities last year released 19,723 criminal illegal aliens back onto U.S. streets who have been convicted of 64,197 crimes — including 208 homicides.
That’s according to data that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) provided to Congress this week ahead of a House Oversight Committee hearing scheduled for Thursday.
The number of criminal aliens released from ICE custody is down from previous years, though apprehensions of illegal aliens in general have also fallen during the Obama regime.
In 2013, more than 36,000 criminal illegal aliens with convictions for more than 88,000 crimes were released from custody. In 2014, more than 30,000 were released.
Last year, the most common convictions for the criminal aliens were alcohol and drug related. There were 12,307 convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol and and 354 for driving under the influence of drugs.
But violent convictions were also common. Besides the 208 homicide and manslaughter convictions, criminal illegal aliens released last year had 1,728 assault convictions, 1,317 for weapons offenses, 921 for aggravated assault, 614 for sexual offenses not related to rape or sexual trafficking, and 320 for sexual assault.
While ICE trumpeted the decrease in the number of released criminal aliens, Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies says not so fast.
“The main reason that fewer criminals were released in 2015 is because fewer criminals were arrested to begin with,” she wrote at CIS’ blog.
She asserted that President Obama’s 2014 immigration executive actions — which de-prioritized some criminal aliens for deportation — have led to fewer apprehensions of all illegal aliens, including those who have been convicted of crimes.
“In 2015, ICE made 119,772 arrests, or just half the number of arrests made in 2013 (232,287),” Vaughan wrote.
She also noted that ICE is for the first time providing its rationale for releasing the criminal aliens.
In more than half of the cases, federal immigration judges ordered them released. Vaughan says that ICE bears some of the responsibility for that ratio. She says that some ICE attorneys do not push for tougher sentences or for longer detainment.
According to the ICE data, 2,166 criminal aliens were released back onto the streets because their home country refused to repatriate them. ICE is prohibited by law from holding them for more than six months, except in extenuating circumstances.
Such was the case with Jean Jacques, a Haitian man who stabbed a 25-year-old woman named Casey Chadwick to death in her Norwich, Conn. apartment last May.
Jacques had been released from prison that January after serving a 17-year sentence for attempted murder. He was placed on ICE’s detainer list for deportation, but Haiti would not take him back.
Chadwick’s mother, Wendy Hartling, will testify at Thursday’s House hearing.