Here’s a dog-bites-man story if I ever heard one: the Obama Administration once again caught lying through its teeth to the American people. In other news, the sun rose this morning.
In this case, it’s about illegal immigrants, a subject upon which it is extremely difficult to find a single instance of the Administration telling the truth. Citizenship is being stolen from you, my fellow Americans, and the thieves’ contempt for you is so complete that they don’t feel obliged to give straight answers to any questions… not even when the truth is printed on documents that are bound to come to light eventually, not even when their actions put our lives at risk.
What USA Today is reporting about the release of violent alien criminals from detention centers should be the biggest story in the land, something every White House official, amnesty shill, and Democrat candidate should be grilled about until they have to cough their answers through lungs full of warm sweat. Of course, even when this story looked marginally less hideous than it turned out to be, it wasn’t as big of a story as it should have been. The media doesn’t like to dwell on stories that make people think about illegal immigration in a bad way. They want you to think nothing but fresh-faced “dreamers” who can’t wait to earn college degrees and pay big bucks in American taxes are coming over the border, and only a xenophobe would quibble about immigration laws – which are, like the Pirate Code from “Pirates of the Caribbean,” more like a set of guidelines than actual “laws.” Since we don’t have a functioning border security apparatus (which must, by definition, include the enforcement of immigration laws against intruders who make it across the border) we don’t have any way to tell the “dreamers” apart from the less appealing illegals. That’s what a working immigration system does.
The system we actually have is a decrepit pile of largely ignored laws, over-ridden by crass politics – Democrats really want that new imported voter base, some Republican interests really want that cheap labor – and the sort of blind ideology that treats border security as an obsession of racist cranks. (It’s not surprising that people who think very little of American citizenship don’t see any reason to get worked up when it’s stolen.) We also have a government so confused and foolish that it can’t handle jobs the Ruling Class actually cares about, never mind laws they despise, duties that take money away from projects they prefer and cost them political capital with voting blocs they’re trying to woo. Behold the fusion of arrogance, disdain, and ineptitude, as the Administration’s eagerness to punish the American people for “budget cuts” led it to release murderers and rapists:
New records contradict the Obama administration’s assurances to Congress and the public that the 2,200 people it freed from immigration jails last year to save money had only minor criminal records.
The records, obtained by USA TODAY, show immigration officials released some undocumented immigrants who had faced far more serious criminal charges, including people charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking and homicide.
The release sparked a furor in Congress. Republican lawmakers accused the Obama administration of setting dangerous criminals free. In response, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it had released “low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal records,” a claim the administration repeated to the public and to members of Congress.
The new records, including spreadsheets and hundreds of pages of e-mails, offer the most detailed information yet about the people ICE freed as it prepared for steep, across-the-government spending cuts in February 2013. They show that although two-thirds of the people who were freed had no criminal records, several had been arrested or convicted on charges more severe than the administration had disclosed.
ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen acknowledged the discrepancy. She said “discretionary releases made by ICE were of low-level offenders. However, the releases involving individuals with more significant criminal histories were, by and large, dictated by special circumstances outside of the agency’s control.”
“Circumstances outside of the agency’s control?” That’s classic Ineptocracy-speak. Some of the thugs they released must have been looking at each other in bewilderment as they were pushed out onto the street. Something tells me their general level of respect for U.S. law has not been enhanced by this experience.
Lawmakers expressed concern. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said it is “deeply troubling that ICE would knowingly release thousands of undocumented immigrant detainees – many with prior criminal records – into our streets, while publicly downplaying the danger they posed.”
Immigration authorities detain an average of about 34,000 people a day. Although the agency regularly releases immigrants who have been charged with serious crimes, it typically does so because their legal status has changed or because they cannot be deported — not as a way to save money. That distinction, combined with the fact that last year’s release happened abruptly and with no advance notice, fed the partisan firestorm that followed.
ICE pays an average of $122 a day for each immigrant it keeps in detention.
The detainees were awaiting deportation or hearings in immigration court. The release did not stop those proceedings; instead, most were released with electronic monitors or other forms of supervision.
“Deeply troubling?” I guess that’s one way to put it, Senator. USA Today is right about the “partisan firestorm,” but the American people need to ask themselves some very hard questions about why something like this would be a partisan issue. Democrats don’t care if violent criminals are released “abruptly and with no advance notice,” with nothing but “electronic monitors or other forms of supervision” standing between them and their next victims while they kill time waiting for deportation hearings? Are you cool with that, Democrat voters? Are you interested in knowing how those deportation hearings are going, whether the released detainees have committed any further offenses since they were sent on their merry way, and what the “other forms of supervision” beyond electronic monitors might be?
ICE and the White House didn’t just lie to the American people about this. They lied to Congress, too:
In hearings last year, Republican lawmakers pressed then-ICE Director John Morton for specifics on the criminal records of the people the agency had freed. At one, Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-Va., asked Morton directly, “No one on that list has been charged or convicted with murder, rape or sexual abuse of a minor, were they?”
Morton answered, “They were not.”
He told lawmakers that, to his knowledge, none had faced child pornography charges.
White House spokesman Jay Carney similarly described them as “low-risk, non-criminal detainees.”
They still aren’t coming clean voluntarily. We’re only hearing this story now because USA Today used the Freedom of Information Act to pry a spreadsheet of the detainees and their offenses from the white-knuckled grip of the Administration. Among the charming entries was “one person in Texas charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexually assaulting a child.” The agency still refuses to actually identify these people, mind you, which tells you a lot about how closely they’re being “monitored.” We have to think about their privacy, you understand. Kind of the opposite of the way they thought about U.S. immigration law before they strolled across the border.
USA Today mentions that 144 more detainees were released due to “special issues,” which usually means the government doesn’t think it can complete deportation proceedings within six months, and that’s the longest the Supreme Court has ruled people can be held for violating immigration law. Therefore, all that is necessary to administratively disable immigration law, without passing any legislation, is to gum up the works until deportation procedures take more than six months. Too bad there’s no ruling that said the IRS can’t hassle conservative groups for more than six months without giving them a firm answer on tax exemptions, eh?
Of course, everyone involved insists they weren’t deliberately lying about the release of potentially dangerous individuals to cover their butts. No, no, this is all just sheer incompetence by our mega-government, not mendacity:
The former head of ICE’s detention operation, Gary Mead, said that if officials provided incorrect information to the public, they did not do so deliberately. Rather, he said, the release happened so quickly that ICE managers in Washington did not know precisely who had been released until after the episode had been reported by the news media.
“We had been asking for some time whether we would have enough money to sustain the level of detention we had, and we didn’t get an answer,” Mead said. “When we did get an answer, it was that we had to start releasing people today.”
Really? Then where did the spreadsheet USA Today obtained come from? Have we got a list of the officials responsible for this, and the disciplinary actions taken against them? They’ve all been fired for gross negligence, right?
Here’s my idea for “comprehensive immigration reform”: a system where the default response is not, “We give up, enforcing the law is too hard, off you go!” Every element of the existing system leading to that state of affairs needs to be overhauled or scrapped. No set of conditions should ever lead to dangerous folly like this.
The same utterly incompetent Administration has been quietly ordering bids for contractors who can handle “a ‘surge’ scenario of 9 million ID cards in one year ‘to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements,'” according to Breitbart News. In other words, they’re getting ready for Obama to hand out amnesty to millions of illegal aliens by executive order. No doubt that will all be handled with the same careful attention to detail as the release of detainees was. I’m equally confident we’ll be kept fully up to speed by The Most Transparent Administration in History on any problems that crop up, once the midterm elections are past, and Democrats get busy doing all the things they didn’t want voters to know about when it was still possible to vote against them.