ICE Director Defends Administration's Mass Release of Criminal Aliens

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing Tuesday morning to investigate the many thousands of dangerous illegal alien criminals released by the administration, including hundreds of murderers and rapists. The hearing was a disturbing and thorough examination of the administration-decreed immigration anarchy now in effect. Obama’s policies are enormously crime friendly and dangerous to the safety of the citizens. Admitting millions of future Democrat voters even of the criminal sort is more important that performing government’s primary job of protecting the people from foreign enemies and criminals.

How anti-enforcement has the government become? One measure is that ICE officers are issued index cards with a list of whom they may deport, so short is the enumeration of categories. ICE Director Sarah Saldana pulled her own card out of a folder as she was questioned (pictured).

Another yardstick is that Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County cannot find out who the 500 illegal alien criminals are that the government released in his county. The aliens’ identities are a secret, so local officers won’t know if they have arrested one for a new crime.

Sheriff Babeu remarked to Neil Cavuto, “Nobody will get me these names, and the reason why they will refuse to provide the names is then we have a list of all these illegals that our government — President Obama has released into our communities that are committing new crimes, that are committing murder, that are committing rape, that are committing aggravated assault, armed robbery — and then we can directly link them back to the president’s action of this unlawful mass prison break.”

Overall, deportations are down and releases of violent criminal aliens into American communities are up.

When the Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy asked a rhetorical question in his opening statement of why morale was so low among ICE employees, he suggested, “Could it possibly be that women and men who signed up to enforce the law are now being asked not to?”

Chairman of the full Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte presented an opening statement that was not only highly critical of the non-enforcement policies toward criminal aliens, but also verged on insulting ICE Secretary Saldana by explaining the basics of her job to her:

Goodlatte Opening Statement, April 14, 2015

As the Obama Administration consistently shrinks the universe of criminal and unlawful aliens that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can remove, ICE apprehensions have decreased by 40% since this time last year.  ICE administrative arrests of criminal aliens declined 32% compared to this time last year.  The average daily population (ADP) of aliens in detention facilities has declined to approximately 26,000 beds.  This has occurred despite a mandate in law that requires ICE to maintain a 34,000 ADP in detention facilities.   And the number of unlawful or criminal aliens that ICE has removed from the interior of the country has fallen by more than half since 2008.

Many factors have contributed to the sharp decline of interior immigration enforcement under this Administration, including the collapse of issuance and compliance with ICE detainers because of ICE’s own detainer policy issued on December 21, 2012 that limits ICE’s ability to issue detainers, ICE’s failure to defend its detainer authority, ICE’s implementation of its new enforcement priorities announced by Secretary Johnson on November 20, 2014, and the demise of the Secure Communities program on this same date.

Detainers are a key tool used by ICE.  They are notices issued by ICE and other DHS units that ask local, State and federal law enforcement agencies not to release removable aliens held at their facilities in order to give ICE an opportunity to take them into its custody and put them in removal proceedings.
(Continues)

At the end of the hearing (which may be watched on C-SPAN), amnesty huckster Luis Gutierrez rushed to Secretary Saldana and happily shook her hand, looking pleased with her performance.

ICE Director Struggles to Explain Release of Thousands of Criminal Immigrants, Breitbart.com, April 14, 2015

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldaña struggled to explain the reasons behind the Obama administration’s release of thousands of criminal immigrants when pressed by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) Tuesday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing.

In Fiscal Year 2014, ICE released 30,558 convicted criminal immigrants, convicted of 79,059 crimes, allowing them to walk free in the U.S.

“One-quarter of these 30,000 criminal aliens had been convicted of level one crimes, such as murder, rape, and sexual abuse of a minor. of those 30,000, only 8 percent were Zadvydas cases,” Smith said referring to the Supreme Court case that prevents the indefinite detention of certain immigrants.

“Thousands could have been deported. Why did you — why did the administration intentionally endanger the lives of innocent Americans by releasing thousands of criminal aliens into our neighborhoods?” he asked.

Saldaña responded that such releases are “an area of great concern for me.”

The ICE director pointed to the courts and the the Zadvydas case as reasons.

“Why we are moving forward as we are. We do not have a policy, our decisions, whether they’re detention decisions, bond decisions, release decisions are governed by several things and often involve the courts. As you know, and I think the the chairman noted, about half, in 2014, of the releases were, as a result of Zadvydas, and which requires us to release people,” Saldaña said.

Smith responded that Saldaña had not contradicted his initial argument that the Obama administration is “intentionally releasing thousands” of convicted immigrant criminals back into the U.S.

“Why are you doing this to the American people?” Smith asked. “You know their recidivism rate is high. You know these individuals are going to be convicted of other crimes. Why are you doing the this to the American people?”

Saldaña reponded, “If I may answer, sir. If I may complete my answer. What I am saying is again let’s make sure we’re comparing apples to apples. We’re talking about 55 percent of those having been ICE discretionary decisions. Which I think is the heart of your concern.”

Smith reiterated his question. Even with that concession, he said, there remain “thousands of people that should be deported, in my opinion, that are not being deported that are endangering innocent Americans. Again, why are you doing this?”

Saldaña argued due process was a reason and said that ICE cannot deport anyone without a court order.

“Right and if you sought that order you could deport thousands of these individuals and you’re not trying to do it. Again, why not?” Smith asked.

The ICE director further pointed to the release of criminals from jail once they have completed their sentence.

“You know the criminal justice system releases murderers, rapists, sexual assaulters every day when a federal judge decides, you know, this person does not present a flight risk or a safe — a danger to the community. That’s the same considerations the law and the regulations,” she said.

The Texas Republican, however, responded that with immigrants it remains up to the government’s discretion as to whether they remain.

“The law allows us to deport the individuals if you want to, director, you are not giving the American people a good answer,” Smith said. “I hope you will be come back with a better answer in the future.”

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