What do you call an organization, that knowingly, willfully and intentionally prevents 68,000 documented and arrested felons from going to court and being tried convicted and sentenced? You call that organization… U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
This isn’t exclusively an “Obama problem” — the boss emeritus has been scorching ICE for its catch-and-release policies for ages, starting long before O took office — but it’s important counterprogramming to the left’s narrative that Obama is some sort of fanatic about deporting illegals. Jeff Sessions put one hole in that balloon last week when his office ran the numbers and found that that if you’re here illegally and don’t have a criminal record, you’re already basically exempt from deportation. ICE won’t touch you, whether because you qualify for some sort of statutory exclusion or because Obama’s definition of “prosecutorial discretion” means that he can refuse to enforce the law in hundreds of thousands of cases.
Now here comes Mark Krikorian’s Center for Immigration Studies to add another puncture: Even among illegals who do have criminal records (not including traffic violations), tens of thousands are being released back into their communities by ICE after apprehension. That’s fully 35 percent of “criminal aliens” whom they encountered.
These figures suggest that despite claims of a focus on public safety, the administration’s prosecutorial discretion criteria are allowing factors such as family relationships, political considerations, or attention from advocacy groups to trump criminal convictions as a factor leading to deportation.
For example, the prosecutorial discretion directives issued by ICE headquarters instruct officers to release illegal aliens if the alien is a parent or caregiver, if the alien claims to be in school, if the alien has been here a long time, or if the alien claims to be eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, among other factors.8 If an alien is found to have applied for legal status, protocol requires the deportation charges be put on hold, and the benefits application may be expedited, presumably to spare the alien the consequences a criminal conviction might have on the alien’s eligibility for the legal status. In addition, ICE agents and officers have been instructed to ignore convictions for state crimes if the conviction occurred under a state law that the administration opposes or thinks is too harsh. Finally, many criminal aliens have been released from ICE custody, received case continuances, and sometimes even case dismissals as a result of petitions, protests, and vigils staged by illegal alien advocacy groups.
One locality that has been specifically targeted by ICE for politically motivated prosecutorial discretion is Maricopa County, Ariz. ICE attorneys in the Arizona field office reportedly are required to terminate deportation cases in which illegal aliens have been convicted of felony identity theft, which is a “crime involving moral turpitude” that requires mandatory detention and should cause the alien to be removed.
According to a House Judiciary report on ICE’s 2012 numbers flagged by CIS, 26,000 “criminal illegals” were released last year and then went on to commit more than 4,000 major felonies, including 59 murders. My assumption is that most of the criminals they’re releasing have been convicted of nonviolent offenses, like identity theft (mentioned above) or drug use; the administration has, in theory, a powerful political incentive to send violent criminals home before they do something ghastly here that gins up a round of bad press that’s unhelpful to the cause of amnesty. The House Judiciary numbers confound that assumption, though. INS is guaranteeing that thousands of otherwise preventable crimes, some violent, will be committed by going easy on a population of criminal illegals that approaches 70,000.
Apparently, one of the prerogatives of being the President of the United States of America, is, that despite whatever it might say on that dusty old document written 235 odd years ago by those old dead white guys, the Preezy really can decide which laws he wants enforced and which ones are not to be enforced.
Oh, I’m sorry, you thought otherwise? Barack Obama unilaterally changing the Affordable Care Act 35 times without even once sending the Act before Congress for a vote? Wasn’t you first clue? How about Barack Obama signing the UN Small Arms Reduction Treaty which specifically bans civilians from owning firearms?