Let’s start with the raw numbers from CNS News.
According to weekly detention and departure reports from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, there were 167,527 non-detained convicted criminal aliens in the United States as of Jan. 26 of this year, a congressional hearing revealed Thursday.
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah.) read the statistic aloud Thursday durin a hearing examining ICE’s priorities and procedures for removing criminal aliens currently living in the United States.
“In that report, it said that there are 167,527 non-detained, final-order convicted criminals on the loose in the United States,” Chaffetz pointed out while questioning ICE Director Sarah Saldana.“These are people that are here illegally, get caught, convicted, and you release back out into the public,” he said, adding that some of the crimes committed by those who have been released include homicide, sex crimes, child pornography, drunk driving, robbery and kidnapping.
The federal government announced Wednesday that ICE had released about 30,000 convicted criminal aliens from ICE custody in 2014 alone, according to The Washington Times, which first reported the statistic.
[…]During the hearing, Saldana said that ICE releases criminal aliens back into the community based on the agency’s “discretionary control.”
[…]“So you don’t automatically deport them, then?” Chaffetz asked.
“Automatically, sir? No,” Saldana responded, adding that “the law gives us that discretion.”
“And so when we say, if you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported, that’s not necessarily true,” Chaffetz said.
“It is true, sir. It’s in–”
“After they get released back into the public for untold number of times?” Chaffetz asked.
“It does happen. It does happen, yes, and that’s exactly what we’re here to do,” Saldana admitted.
“What does happen? That they get released?” Chaffetz asked.
“Yes,” Saldana said, “Even criminals that are released.”
“Those people were released under the laws of the United States,” Saldana added, explaining that according to “due process,” it can easily take “months and even years to deport folks.”
Meanwhile, the Washington Times reports on some criminals who were amnestied by Obama’s executive action.
Nearly two dozen of the illegal immigrants picked up in a nationwide sweep for criminal aliens earlier this month had previously been approved for President Obama’s deportation amnesty, the Homeland Security Department said Wednesday.
All 23 were part of Mr. Obama’s original program for so-called Dreamers, which began in 2012 and which had granted tentative legal legal status to nearly 640,000 as of the end of last year.
Of the 23, 15 were still actively part of the amnesty, while eight had been approved once but had not gotten their status renewed after the first two-year period expired.
[…]Homeland Security spokeswoman Marsha Catron said 14 of the 15 Dreamers who were still part of “deferred action” were convicted of their crimes after they were approved. The other one had a has a pending criminal charge but hadn’t yet been convicted or acquitted.
Now I am all in favor of legal immigration and even naturalization of skilled workers who come here on work permits and prove over a long period time that they can 1) keep a job, 2) avoid committing crimes, and 3) not collect any benefits from the government. But I am really at a loss to understand why the United States shows almost no interest in getting skilled immigrants to settle down, but a great interest in giving special benefits to illegal immigrants who commit serious crimes. It really makes no sense to me – it’s not fair. It’s really a mystery to me how a “Republican” presidential candidate like Jeb Bush can be in favor of amnesty when this is what amnesty actually does, in practice. Why is Bush even running as a Republican? He should be challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democrat nomination.