Federal immigration officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) report that the number of criminal aliens released on to the streets of America so far because of overcrowding and President Barack Obama’s Executive Amnesty order has reached nearly 170,000 through the end of January.
This according to testimony delivered by ICE Director Sarah Saldana during a hearing on ICE’s performance and procedures for removing criminal aliens currently living in the United States before Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Chairman Chaffetz thought the statistic so important that he pointedly read the number aloud before a packed hearing. According to Brittany Hughes reporting for CNS News, Chaffetz said:
“…there are 167,527 non-detained, final-order convicted criminals on the loose in the United States”…
”These are people that are here illegally, get caught, convicted, and you release back out into the public.” Chaffetz added that some of the crimes committed by those who have been released include homicide, sex crimes, child pornography, drunk driving, robbery and kidnapping.
According to CNSNews, the federal government released 36,007 criminal aliens from the ICE custody in 2013, including those convicted of sex crimes, homicide, drunk driving, kidnapping and robbery and another 30,000 in 2014.
Of these, approximately 1,000 went on to commit new crimes ranging from assault with a deadly weapon and lewd acts with a child to aggravated assault, robbery, and hit-and-run.
Saldana said the release of criminal aliens back into the community were conducted pursuant to ICE’s “discretionary control” authority. In a direct exchange between Chairman Chaffetz and Saldana, Chaffetz began with this question:
“Madam Director, if you’re a criminal, will you be deported?”
“Those are the people we’re looking for, yes” Saldana answered.
“But they’ve been in your detention. They’ve been detained. I mean they were convicted. They were…were they deported?” Chaffetz continued.
“They were in the process of being deported,”…“Everyone in our detention facilities is in the process of being deported…” responded Saldana.
“Well that’s not true. I mean, you regularly release them back out into the public before they get deported, correct?” Chaffetz asked.
Of the roughly 36,000 criminal aliens released by ICE in 2013, about 22,000 were released under ICE’s “discretionary control,” she estimated.
“So you don’t automatically deport them, then?” Chaffetz asked.
“Automatically, sir? No (but) the law gives us that discretion.”
“And so when we say, if you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported, that’s not necessarily true,” Chaffetz said.
“It is true, sir. It’s in–”
Interrupting, Chaffetz asked “After they get released back into the public for untold number of times?”
“It does happen. It does happen, yes, and that’s exactly what we’re here to do,” Saldana confessed.
“What does happen? That they get released?” Chaffetz asked.
“Yes,” Saldana said, “Even criminals that are released. “Those people were released under the laws of the United States,” Saldana added, explaining that according to “due process,” it can easily take “months and even years to deport folks.”
This dry explanation of the content and implementation of ICE policy by Saldana did not include any mention of the effect that recidivist criminal aliens have on American victims of their crimes.