FOIA Request by FAIR Reveals ICE Low-Balled the Number of Offenses Committed by Criminal Aliens It Released
PRESS RELEASE | JUNE 16 2016
“Rather than end dangerous politically-driven policies that have put a total of 85,000 deportable criminal aliens back onto the streets in the last three years, ICE tried to hide them by providing grossly inaccurate information to Congress and the American people.”
—dan stein, president of fair
(Washington, D.C.) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) records obtained by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request show that the agency grossly misrepresented—by almost tenfold—the number of subsequent offenses committed by criminal aliens it released from custody onto the streets in FY 2014.
In response to an inquiry from the House Judiciary Committee in July 2015, ICE reported that the 30,558 criminal aliens it released, instead of deported, in FY 2014 were convicted of an additional 1,423 offenses. However, the ICE records that were requested by The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) on FAIR's behalf show that the actual number of subsequent convictions racked up by the criminal aliens ICE released in FY 2014 was actually 13,288. It is important to note that not all criminal charges result in convictions. Thus, the number of offenses committed by criminal aliens ICE turned loose is likely significantly greater.
The criminal aliens responsible for these 13,288 convictions were not considered sufficiently dangerous to be deported under ICE's self-declared "priorities" for removal. "In recent years, the number of criminal aliens deported has plummeted, despite ample funds to remove many more. As a result of Obama administration policies that place protection of illegal aliens—including criminals—over the safety of the American public, thousands of people have been needlessly victimized," charged Dan Stein, president of FAIR.
The list of convictions for offenses committed by criminals ICE did not deem worthy of deportation in FY 2014 includes: homicide, kidnapping, assault, sexual assault, drunk driving, and other offenses. Yet despite the clear knowledge that its policies resulted in thousands of avoidable crimes, ICE doubled down in FY 2015—releasing nearly 20,000 additional deportable criminals.
"Rather than end dangerous politically-driven policies that have put a total of 85,000 deportable criminal aliens back onto the streets in the last three years, ICE tried to hide them by providing grossly inaccurate information to Congress and the American people," noted Stein. "Moreover, despite knowing the true extent of the criminal activities committed by the aliens they were releasing, DHS scrapped the Secure Communities program designed to allow ICE to take custody of criminal aliens who are being held by local police. "Congress has to act. It is being lied to by an administration that is misrepresenting the facts and a president that refuses to enforce immigration laws in favor of manipulating policy for political gain," Stein concluded.
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group. With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.