ICE has admitted that 25 percent of the murderers it freed last year were let go at the agency's discretion, not mandated by the courts, in a statement provided to Breitbart News. The statement was a response to my report revealing that in 2013 ICE freed 36,007 convicted criminals to await the outcome of their deportation proceedings, instead of holding them in custody.
The 36,007 convicted criminals set free by ICE had a total of 87,818 convictions between them, including 193 homicide convictions and hundreds of other serious and violent convictions, including sexual assault and kidnapping. Some were freed without conditions or supervision, and others were freed on bond or other types of monitoring arrangements. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) has called it the "worst prison break in history".
In total, at the end of 2013, there were 318,967 convicted criminal aliens who had been freed by ICE and are at large in our communities. Half of them have already been ordered removed and half are awaiting the outcome of their immigration cases, according to page seven of this ICE document.
ICE's statement reads as follows, with my comments in brackets:
Many of the individuals described in the report were released under restrictions such as GPS monitoring, telephone monitoring, supervision, or surety bond. [I feel a lot safer, don't you?]
In some of the releases in 2013, ICE was required by law to release the individuals from custody, pursuant to decisions by the Supreme Court and other federal courts. [Funny how this administration can find all sorts of ways to avoid enforcing other immigration laws, but when it comes to releasing murderers and rapists, suddenly they are sticklers for the law and claim their hands are tied.]
The releases required by court decisions account for a disproportionate number of the serious crimes listed in the report. For example, mandatory releases account for over 75 percent of the homicides listed [which means that 25 percent of them were at ICE's discretion].
Others, typically [but apparently not always] those with less serious offenses, were released as a discretionary matter after career law enforcement officers made a judgment regarding the priority of holding the individual, given ICE's resources, and prioritizing the detention and removal of individuals who pose a risk to public safety or national security.
I don't think the victims of the acts perpetrated by these criminal aliens will be comforted by ICE's statement.
ICE should be asked to provide details on the type of release (e.g., how many were supervised and how, and how many were given legal status of some kind); how many were released at the behest of advocacy groups or after press inquiries; how many of these criminal aliens committed additional crimes after their release; and how many absconded or became fugitives.