Among the 36,000 immigrants whom U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released from custody last year there were 116 with convictions for homicide, 43 for negligent manslaughter, 14 for voluntary manslaughter and one with a conviction classified by ICE as “homicide-willful kill-public official-gun.”
“We keep hearing from the administration that they are focused like a laser on enforcement against the worst of the worst, convicted criminals, as their top priority. On the other hand, they are releasing, at a rate of about 100 a day, aliens from their custody with criminal convictions, and many of them are serious criminal convictions,” she said.
In a statement, ICE said many of those it released were subject to electronic monitoring, posting bond or having to check in with officers.
In other cases, the agency was required to release immigrants because of court decisions, including a 2001 Supreme Court ruling that found immigrants whose home countries refused to take them back could not be held for more than six months.
ICE said 75 percent of the convicted murderers released in 2013 were considered “mandatory releases” in compliance with court decisions.
“Others, typically 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,” ICE said.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will have to answer questions.