The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in 2015 decided not to deport but release 19,723 criminal illegal immigrants, including 208 convicted of murder, over 900 convicted of sex crimes and 12,307 of drunk driving, according to new government numbers.
Overall, those released into virtually every state and territory of America had a total of 64,197 convictions among them, for an average of 3.25 convictions each, according to an analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies. ICE also said that the group were convicted of 8,234 violent crimes.
Meanwhile, ICE said that it has also slashed the number of criminals arrested in local communities, according to the Center's Director of Policy Studies, Jessica M. Vaughan. "In 2015, ICE made 119,772 arrests, or just half the number of arrests made in 2013, 232,287," she said in her analysis that also included a map of the releases.
The reason: Under President Obama's immigration policy changes, many criminal immigrants are being ignored even though local police and sheriff have urged ICE to take control of criminals in their jails and deport them.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday is holding a hearing on the issue of the releases. In a preview of the issues in the hearing, the committee said, "Each year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement releases tens of thousands of criminal aliens eligible for deportation. After release, many go on to commit additional crimes. With new restrictions on immigration enforcement through the president's executive actions, only narrow classes of removable aliens are priorities for arrest, questioning, detention, or removal. Therefore, millions of removable aliens will be able to remain in the country."