DHS Trumpets Its Own Immigration Failure

By Mark Krikorian on May 22, 2015

A press release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement this week boasts that "ICE removes man wanted by Romanian authorities for attempted murder." Sounds good, right?

Tomescu was apprehended near Douglas, Ariz., in July 2010 when he tried to enter the United States without inspection. U.S. Border Patrol officers served him a notice to appear in immigration court and placed him in custody.

So far, so good. The Board Patrol is on top of things.

He was later released on an order of recognizance.

Wait, what? We let him go?

This is why illegal aliens need to be detained until they're removed. Since there's no penalty for skipping an immigration hearing other than being deported — which is what's going to happen to you anyway if you lose — why show up? Almost all of the illegals from last summer's border surge — also "released on an order of recognizance" — gave the finger to the courts and skipped their hearings. A look at nearly two decades of data shows that the vast majority of illegals not detained simply failed to show up. Only people who figure they have a good chance of winning will bother to appear before an immigration court if they're not compelled to.

Despite this, the Democrats are gearing up a major campaign to limit or eliminate the detention of illegal aliens. The ranking Democrat on the House immigration subcommittee, Zoe Lofgren, demanded this week that any illegal alien bringing a minor with him be released into the U.S. The New York Times earlier this month called on the government to "End Immigrant Detention."

Back to the press release. So four years after the Romanian border-jumper was let go by the Obama administration ...

In April 2014, Interpol issued a Red Notice for Tomescu's arrest. He is charged with attempted murder in Romania.

Oh, so this simple migrant worker, salt-of-the-earth-just-trying-to-feed-his-family was a violent criminal? Maybe if we'd bounced him back where he came from in the first place (preferably after convicting him of the crime of illegal entry) the Romanian authorities could have dealt with him a long time ago.

In 2014, Tomescu was arrested twice on misdemeanor theft charges in the D.C.-metropolitan area. In December 2014, ERO Washington officers placed a detainer on Tomescu while he was incarcerated at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center so he would enter ICE custody upon his release. He was transferred to ERO Washington's custody in February 2015.

He was arrested twice in 2014; the first time was likely before Interpol issued its alert, so ICE, following Obama's orders, ignored Tomescu because he was only a "minor" criminal, and the arrest probably didn't result in conviction anyway. (My colleague David North has more details on one of Tomescu's past arrests.) Tomescu might well have been arrested on misdemeanor charges before that, as well; an alert press corps would ask ICE the total number of times he'd been arrested by local cops.

These are the just the kind of "minor" crimes Obama and his anti-borders confederates insist that ICE should pay no attention to. In fact, the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing just this week called for "Decoupl[ing] federal immigration enforcement from routine local policing for civil enforcement and nonserious crime." The most important tool enabling local police and sheriffs to leverage immigration law to keep their communities safe was the Secure Communities program, which sent the fingerprints of booked suspects to DHS at the same time as they went to the FBI. It proved so successful in identifying illegal-alien criminals that Obama ordered it discontinued at the end of last year.

Not done with the press release yet:

"ICE will not permit individuals like Tomescu — criminals wanted overseas — to come to the United States and commit additional crimes on our soil," said Yvonne Evans, field office director for ERO Washington. "Our ERO officers will continue to remove individuals without legal status who threaten the public safety of our communities."

I can't blame people whose careers and retirements (and mortgages and kids' college tuition) are on the line for parroting the lies of their political masters. But ICE did permit Tomescu to come to the United States and commit additional crimes on our soil. And maybe someday we'll have an administration that lets its functionaries end the sentence after "status" — "Our ERO officers will continue to remove individuals without legal status" — without feeling the need to add the qualifier "who threaten the public safety of our communities." If they knew which ones were dangerous ahead of time, they'd never have released Tomescu in the first place. And anyway, every illegal alien is deportable at all times, and whenever he comes to the attention of the authorities, he should be repatriated as matter of course, rather than waiting for permission from Interpol.