Imagine if the police department in your city or town decided to release back onto the streets all sorts of potentially dangerous jail inmates awaiting trial — men and women known to be criminals who’ve committed acts of violence. No doubt, there would be a justifiable uproar as you and other crime-conscious folks let the lax authorities know just what you felt about their actions that could certainly jeopardize public safety.
Well, that what-if scenario is similar to the just-revealed moves actually made in 2014 by Obama’s Department of Homeland Security — the release from custody of illegal immigrants described as “Threat Level 1” criminals. The Washington Times reports that the House Judiciary Committee has obtained documents showing that Homeland Security officials chose to set free thousands of non-citizens with criminal records indicating they could be a serious threat to innocent, law-abiding Americans.
Some of those released were the worst of the worst — more than 3,700 “Threat Level 1” criminals, who are deemed the top priority for deportation, were still released out into the community even as they waited for their immigration cases to be heard.
Homeland Security officials have implied their hands are tied by court rulings in many cases, but the numbers, obtained by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, showed 57 percent of the criminals released were by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s own choice, and they could have been kept instead.
A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told the Times that even Threat Level 1 criminal aliens are not always held until their deportation hearings can determine what to do with them. But the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Virginia GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte, isn’t buying ICE’s excuse for putting back onto the streets known criminal aliens who could disappear into, and prey upon, unsuspecting and vulnerable communities across the country.
“’Put aside the spin, and the fact is that over 17,000 of the criminal aliens released last year were released due to ICE discretion, representing 57 percent of the releases,’ said Mr. Goodlatte. ‘The Obama administration’s lax enforcement policies are reckless and needlessly endanger our communities.’”
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As Western Journalism reported in late March of this year, ICE has been sharply criticized before for its policy of releasing criminal aliens awaiting deportation proceedings. As writer Randy DeSoto noted: “Judicial Watch obtained documents proving that, to date, the Obama administration has released 165,950 illegal aliens with criminal convictions back into the population.”
This latest revelation about ICE’s “discretionary” release of dangerous illegals will likely rekindle the debate over whether the Obama administration is serious about rounding up and preventing Threat Level 1 criminal aliens from presenting a very real danger to the American people.