•The Department of Homeland Security is letting illegal immigrants go in record numbers, including those already convicted of serious crimes
•A man accused of raping a child in his own family was released, apparently because of a policy of ‘discretion’ when suspects are child caregivers
•Another man facing vehicular homicide charges walked away because Chicago’s county jail officials refused to let the feds interview him
•According to a new report, just 195,000 out of 722,000 illegal immigrants encountered by ICE were charged with immigration violations in 2013
By David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor
PUBLISHED: 16:26 EST, 31 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:31 EST, 31 March 2014
The Department of Homeland Security released so-called ‘criminal aliens’ – people living in the U.S. illegally who have been convicted of crimes – at a record pace in 2013.
Internal DHS documents obtained by the right-leaning Center for Immigration Studies show that last year the agency’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division encountered 722,000 potentially deportable illegal immigrants, but charged just 195,000 with immigration violations.
And 68,000 of those who were released back in to the U.S. population already had criminal convictions that would warrant their expulsion from the country.
But President Barack Obama’s preferred policy has favored ‘prosecutorial discretion,’ giving ICE broad authority to pick and choose which aliens to keep and which to cut loose.
ICE keeps some of them in detention facilities, but releases others who fit their ‘discretion’ guidelines despite their criminal profiles.
About 75 per cent of those detained by ICE in 2013 had already been convicted or criminal or immigration crimes serious enough to require them – by law – to remain in custody.
Most of those criminal aliens found themselves in ICE’s holding cells after local authorities jailed them pending trial for unrelated offenses.
Many of those who were ultimately released never returned to face their immigration cases or other criminal charges, instead fleeing to other jurisdictions or back to their home countries.
The Center for Immigration Studies report claims that ‘[a]ccording to ICE personnel, the vast gap between the number of encounters reported and the number of aliens put on the path to removal exists because officers are not permitted to file charges against aliens who do not fall into the administration’s narrowly defined criteria for enforcement, regardless of the criminal charges or the circumstances in which the alien was identified.’
Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions, a frequent immigration hawk who opposes loosening policies and putting illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship, lashed out at the White House on Monday.
‘The preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that immigration enforcement in America has collapsed,’ Sessions said.
‘Even those with criminal convictions are being released. DHS is a department in crisis. Secretary Johnson must reject the President’s demands to weaken enforcement further and tell him that his duty, and his officers’ duty, is to enforce the law – not break it.’
He added a charge that the Obama administration has ‘adopted a government policy that encourages new arrivals to enter illegally or overstay visas by advertising immunity from future enforcement.’
According to DHS, more than 870,000 illegal immigrants are on lists ordering their deportation, but have defied authorities by becoming fugitives.
In one infamous case, Chicago police arrested Amado Espinoza-Ramirez, a Mexican national whose final charging sheet accused him of sexual assault involving a minor less than thirteen years old, sexual relations with a family member, and forcible sexual assault.
Amado Espinoza-Ramirez still stands charged with multiple counts of child rape against a member of his own family. ICE let him go under a policy that affords preference to illegal immigrants who are responsible for the care of minor children.
The 42 charges weren’t all filed immediately, so a judge granted him a $100,000 bond. A friend bailed him out for $10,000, but ICE took custody.
Seeing that he was officially a caregiver for a minor child – one of the categories of prosecutorial discretion in the White House’s guidelines – the agency released him with a summons to appear in immigration court later.
That minor was likely the young child Espinoza-Ramirez allegedly raped.
He never returned to face his charges, either in criminal court or in immigration proceedings.
The case of Cook County, Illinois is indicative of nationwide problems, but ICE agents face an extra hurdle there: Since Chicago declared itself a ‘sanctuary’ city in 2011, the Cook County jail has closed its doors to federal immigration authorities.
The Daily Caller reported in 2012 that federal agents can no longer interview the county jail’s inmates to determine whether they should be flagged for ‘removal’ – deportation i or other immigration proceedings.
Saul Chavez, a Chicago-area illegal immigrant who with a drunk driving conviction already on his record, fled that year to avoid facing a felony charge of vehicular homicide.
Charging documents showed that Chavez was drunk when he plowed his car into a 66-year-old man who was crossing the street, dragging him about two hundred feet.
ICE placed a ‘detainer’ on Chavez after he was jailed, ordering his continued detention even if he made bail.
But Cook County ignored the directive. When Chavez found enough money to post bond five months after his arrest, he walked out of the jail, never to return.
Immigration officials have complained about a lack of bed space in detention facilities for the annual crush of detainees they process.
But for the last three years, the Department of Homeland Security has consistently decreased the number of beds covered in its annual budget requests.
The Center ofr Immigration Studies reported Monday that ‘despite claims of a focus on public safety, the administration’s prosecutorial discretion criteria are allowing factors such as family relationships, political considerations, or attention from advocacy groups to trump criminal convictions as a factor leading to deportation.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2593690/Feds-intercepted-722-000-illegal-immigrants-year-charged-just-27-PER-CENT-criminal-violations-let-68-000-convicted-criminals-go.html#ixzz2xbPhbs9B
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