A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies has revealed that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) freed 36,007 convicted criminal aliens in 2013.
The individuals that were released from various detention centers were all awaiting a decision on deportation proceedings, and many of them had been convicted of violent crimes. Many of those in ICE custody also had multiple convictions. The report notes that the 36,007 individuals had a total of nearly 88,000 convictions on their combined record. Out of those 88,000 convictions, there were 193 cases of homicide and 426 cases of sexual assault. More than 16,000 of the crimes listed in the report are related to drunk or drugged driving convictions.
The freed criminal aliens each underwent one of a variety of alternatives to detention. Some were released on bond, others on unsupervised recognizance, others under supervision, others with ankle bracelets or on parole.
The Center for Immigration Studies report questions the release of so many criminal immigrants, claiming that “these figures call into question President Obama’s request to Congress for permission to reduce immigration detention capacity by 10 percent in favor of permission to make wider use of experimental alternatives to detention."
Despite this analysis, the Obama administration has actually been one of the harshest executive offices in terms of illegal immigration. According to Mother Jones, the amount of deportations under Obama has nearly reached 2 million thus far.
Since the Center for Immigration Studies report was released, however, Obama has claimed that he seeks to find a legal way to reduce deportations and immigration detention. According to the Washington Times, Obama even suggested support of amnesty provisions that would make the U.S. safer.
The issue of illegal immigration is a contentious one, and it's unlikely that the Obama administration or other politicians will address the issue head-on with midterm election season approaching.