This article originally appeared on watchdog.org.
More than 1,000 illegal immigrants released under federal ‚??prosecutorial discretion‚?Ě went on to commit a string of new crimes across the United States, according to Department of Homeland Security records. And that was in just one year.
The¬†38-page DHS report¬†lists the new convictions for fiscal 2013, the latest year for which statistics were available. They include:
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Terroristic threats
- Failure to register as a sex offender
- Lewd acts with a child under 14
- Aggravated assault
- Criminal street gang
- Rape spouse by force
- Child cruelty: possible injury/death
‚??The Obama administration claims it is using ‚??prosecutorial discretion‚?? to prioritize the removal of criminal aliens from this country. But this report shows the disturbing truth: 1,000 undocumented aliens previously convicted of crimes, and released by the administration in 2013, have gone on to commit further crimes in our communities,‚?Ě said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, vowed:¬†‚??I will continue my work to ensure our immigration officials are doing what it takes to take criminal aliens off our streets and out of our country.‚?Ě
Officials at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have complained about lack of bed space to house criminal immigrants. According to a¬†Government Accountability Office¬†report, the cost of detaining criminal aliens from 2005 to 2009 was estimated at $1.6 billion annually.
‚??Given the increase in undocumented immigrants, the current costs may be higher,‚?Ě Judiciary Committee press secretary Taylor Foy said. ‚??That also does not take into account the cost of releasing criminal aliens into supervised release programs.‚?Ě
Instead of deporting criminal immigrants, Justice Department attorneys have turned them loose under the Obama administration‚??s controversial policy of prosecutorial discretion.
The resulting public endangerment and strain on local law-enforcement agencies sparked an outcry from immigration-enforcement groups Monday.
Jessica Vaughn, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, told Watchdog, ‚??This report confirms what many of us feared, and what ICE officers know, namely that policies that lead to the release of criminal aliens back into our communities undermines public safety and is creating needless new victims.‚?Ě
‚??These offenders should be sent home, not allowed to stay here.‚?Ě
She added:¬†‚??The president is constantly claiming that his policies allow ICE officers to focus on ‚??felons, not families.‚??¬†In fact, they prevent ICE officers from dealing with felons, and the criminal aliens who will become felons.‚?Ě
Vaughn cited a recent example of an illegal immigrant arrested last month in the¬†murder of a 21-year-old Mesa, Arizona, convenience store worker¬†over a pack of cigarettes.
‚??(Apolinar Altamirano) is one of the 36,000 who were freed by ICE in 2013.¬†He was a convicted felon when ICE released him in 2013, but ICE officers have been told to release such offenders ‚??¬†without supervision.‚?Ě
Bob Dane, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said, ‚??Statistics say that one in six criminal illegal aliens who get released get rearrested. Catch and release is good practice for fishing, but not a good one for law enforcement.‚?Ě
Vaughn said Congress can stop the White House‚??s criminal merry-go-round.
‚??Congress has the opportunity to end the Obama administration‚??s reckless ‚??prosecutorial discretion‚?? policies by passing the DHS appropriations bills with riders that halt the president‚??s executive actions,‚?Ě she said.
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