WASHINGTON – Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has disclosed information about its release of 169 undocumented immigrants in fiscal 2013 who had been convicted of a “homicide-related” offense and were awaiting deportation proceedings.
In a response to a letter from Senator Chuck Grassley, ICE officials indicated that more than 130 zip codes were once “associated with the detainees.” Grassley first wrote Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on June 9 about data distributed by ICE. The information regarding the homicide-related offenses is from a larger batch of information that said 36,007 individuals were released in 2013 who had been convicted of a crime and were awaiting the outcome of deportation proceedings..
Grassley said that ICE’s response showed that the administration failed to put procedures in place to ensure public safety and national security. The response from ICE said, “I am instituting new procedures requiring that an appropriate senior-level supervisor must approve before ICE releases potentially dangerous individuals.”
“The public needs to know when a person is in the country illegally, and who has been convicted of a homicide, is released into their communities,” Grassley said. “We’ve introduced legislation that would reverse the court case that the Obama administration is relying on to excuse its irresponsible release of thousands of criminally convicted aliens.”
Grassley is an original cosponsor of legislation that would close the legal loophole created by the U.S. Supreme Court in Zadvydas v. Davis (2001), which immigration authorities cite as justification to release any immigrant who has not been accepted for deportation to other countries within six months. The Zadvydas decision has resulted in this practice, commonly referred to as “catch and release,” and the failure to detain aliens who have been ordered removed.
Here’s a copy of Grassley’s letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. Here’s a copy of the response from ICE.