According to figures supplied to Congress by the Department of Homeland Security, more than 20,000 illegal aliens convicted of a crime were released into American communities in 2015.
More than half of that number were convicted of DUI, making them a danger on American roads. But thousands were convicted of assault, while several hundred were convicted of the most serious crimes.
Between them the aliens notched a total of 64,000 crimes, including 12,307 drunken driving convictions, 1,728 cases of assault, 216 kidnappings and more than 200 homicide or manslaughter convictions, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform ahead of a hearing Thursday.
"These are not just numbers. These are individuals in this country illegally who were arrested, prosecuted and convicted. But instead of removing these criminals, ICE put them back on American streets," said Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz.
One of those released by ICE in 2015, Haitian illegal immigrant Jean Jacques, would go on to kill a young woman in Connecticut just months later, stabbing Casey Chadwick to death. Her mother, Wendy Hartling, will testify to the Oversight Committee alongside relatives of other victims of illegal immigrants' crimes.
Jacques had previously served time for attempted murder and was supposed to have been deported after that. But ICE officials said he wouldn't produce documents proving his identity, and Haiti refused to accept him without those documents. ICE said it had to release him instead.
Those kinds of releases have been a black eye for the administration in recent years, with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and ICE Director Sarah R. Saldana saying they need to do a better job of keeping serious criminals in custody as they await deportation.
And they have made some strides, reducing the number of criminal aliens released from 36,007 in 2013 to 30,558 in 2014, and then cutting the number by more than 10,000 last year.
Well, bully for them. Let me know when the number is at zero, and I'll offer my congratulations.
There is no more visible and risible example of how porous our immigration system is. More than 20,000 people who have no right to be here in the first place, convicted of a crime, and ordered deported are released unceremoniously back into the very same communities they committed criminal acts against in the first place.
You'd have to be brain-dead to find any logic or reason in this.
Testimony from the families of victims of illegal alien crimes is compelling, but what's needed is a new administration – one that takes enforcing the law seriously and looks to protect the rights and safety of citizens rather than the rights of immigration scofflaws.