Revelations that 36,007 illegal immigrants — processed for deportation though freed while awaiting disposition of their cases — carried out and were convicted of thousands of felonies has incensed Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith.
Smith blamed President Barack Obama.
"This would be considered the worst prison break in American history, except it was sanctioned by the president and perpetrated by our own immigration officials. These criminal immigrants should have been deported to ensure that they could never commit crimes on U.S. soil. But instead, [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] officials chose not to detain them and instead released them back onto American streets," Smith said in a statement Monday, Breitbart reported.
The revelations by the Center for Immigration Studies, which obtained an internal Department of Homeland Security document, showed that the 36,007 criminal aliens carried out 87,818 crimes including 193 murders, 426 sexual assaults, 303 kidnappings, and 1,075 aggravated assaults. They also generated more than 15,000 drunk driving convictions.
The center opposes the Obama administration's immigration enforcement policies which it terms "Catch and Release."
Smith, who serves on the Homeland Security committee, said that administration officials prefer to portray illegal immigrant crime as a petty irritant. "But the convictions tell a chilling story" of "murder, rape, kidnapping, drunk driving, and aggravated assault," Smith said, according to Breitbart.
Talk of immigration reform should be shelved, Smith said. "There should be no discussion of reforming our nation's immigration laws until the president enforces the laws currently on the books. The safety of the American people should be the president's top priority. We need a president who follows the law and deports criminal immigrants who violate our laws and endanger our lives."
The administration has a credibility problem though it is deporting large numbers of illegal aliens, The New York Times reported.
David Martin, a former deputy general counsel at the Department of Homeland Security told the Times, "It would have been better for the administration to state its enforcement intentions clearly and stand by them, rather than being willing to lean whichever way seemed politically expedient at any given moment."
The Times said its analysis of government records show that about two-thirds of almost 2 million deportation cases since Obama took office involved people who had minor infractions, such as traffic tickets, or no criminal record at all. About 20 percent involved people convicted of serious crimes, the Times said.
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