Just before the sequester commenced on March 1, the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigrations and Customs Enforcement division (ICE) freed illegal-alien detainees from federal custody. Not to worry, White House spokesman Jay Carney reassured the American people. These were just “low-level, non-criminal detainees.” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said of these inmates, “Several hundred are related to sequester, but it wasn’t thousands.”
Like so many Obamaite statements, however, these announcements now are inoperative.
Senators John McCain (R., Ariz.) and Carl Levin (D., Mich.) announced May 16 that ICE’s behavior was even worse than it appeared.
“Without explanation or warning,” McCain and Levin stated, ICE officials “released from custody 2,226 detainees into communities across the country.” Rather than Carney’s “low-level, non-criminal detainees,” the senators explained, ICE had “freed 622 detainees with criminal records, including 32 with multiple felony convictions.” As detailed in a May 6 letter
to the senators from DHS’s just-departed assistant secretary for legislative affairs, Nelson Peacock, these 32 serial felons are Level 1, or highest-risk detainees. ICE also emancipated another 80 Level 2 detainees.
Meet a few of the illegal aliens with rap sheets whom Team Obama turned loose onto America’s streets:
ICE’s Phoenix District Office released a detainee convicted of felony second-degree robbery and, according to McCain and Levin, “countless convictions” for prostitution and solicitation for lewd conduct. Thus, this freed detainee is a sex offender.
ICE Phoenix liberated one person convicted of harassment, criminal property damage, and “an extreme case of driving under the influence.”
Also in Phoenix, ICE unchained one especially busy detainee. This individual was convicted of trespassing, vandalism, second-degree burglary, felony drug possession, DUI with a controlled substance, and carrying a loaded firearm.
ICE San Francisco freed someone with a felony conviction for manufacturing bogus identifications.
Also in San Francisco, one detainee walked, despite two DUI and two stalking convictions – the second from 2012.
ICE Houston unshackled someone convicted of felony possession of up to 2,000 pounds of marijuana. Even those who wisely favor drug legalization should recognize that, under today’s system, someone wielding a ton of pot likely is a very tough and possibly violent customer.
After it flung open the jail cells for these and other characters, DHS realized its folly. It then rearrested 24 of these 32 felons. The other eight presumably remain free.
If it’s any comfort, the letter from Peacock (who left DHS last Friday) says that “all of the aliens released remained in immigration proceedings.” Beyond those who were rearrested, others are on bond, on order of supervision, or are monitored telephonically or via GPS. Of course, nothing prevents these aliens from snipping their ankle bracelets and escaping into a vast country with 314 million people.
“ICE’s reprehensible actions put Arizona at risk by setting free into our communities hundreds of detainees who were guilty of criminal offenses,” said Senator McCain. “The ICE officials responsible for this must face disciplinary action and must take all actions necessary to ensure that this never happens again.”
This episode, which Governor Rick Perry (R., Texas) denounced as a “federally sponsored jailbreak,” follows the same playbook as do the other scandals in which the Obama Administration is ensnaring itself.
First, deny knowledge about the imbroglio du jour.