Family members of people who were murdered by illegal immigrants after those immigrants had previously been detained and released pursuant to President Obama’s policies will testify before House lawmakers Wednesday morning.
The testimony is intended to illustrate a pattern of the Department of Homeland Security releasing criminal immigrants rather than deporting them, according to a Republican congressman who said that DHS had released 36,000 convicted criminal illegal immigrants since 2013.
“Of those 36,000, already now 1,000 of them have already been convicted of new crimes,” says the lawmaker. “These are people who have gone through the court system, even. And yet, rather than them get repatriated, they’re released, and now there are new victims because of the recklessness of the policy.”
With that in mind, a House Oversight and Government Reform panel will hear from Jamiel Shaw, whose son was murdered by a gang member in the country illegally, and Michael Ronnebeck, whose nephew Grant was allegedly murdered by a man who faced deportation but was released by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement.
“We want Grant’s death to be a force for change and reform in the immigration policies of this great nation,” Michael Ronnebeck says in prepared testimony obtained by National Review, after detailing how ICE released the alleged murderer twice: once, after after he pled guilty to a burglary, and a second time when he was waiting for a deportation hearing.
“I am asking you, our elected scholars, lawyers, and community leaders, to make these changes; to rise above your political differences, to set aside your personal interests, and to use your resources to make sensible immigration reform a reality in the coming months, so that tragedies like this might not ever occur again,” Ronnebeck says in the prepared remarks.
Republicans hope the testimony will help win the public-relations fight over the Department of Homeland Security funding bill, which Senate Democrats have filibustered because it contains language barring the implementation of Obama’s executive orders on immigration.