Three recent items highlight the continuing collapse of interior immigration enforcement under Obama.
The first is information pried out of DHS by Senators Grassley and Sessions: One hundred twenty-one convicted criminals who faced deportation orders between 2010 and 2014 were never removed from the country and now face murder charges, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Just to be clear, these were convicted criminals, in ICE custody, who had been ordered deported but were instead released back into U.S. communities, and then went on to murder Americans. Most were released simply because the administration didn’t want to detain them. Only for two dozen does the administration have any excuse at all, saying that they had to be released because their home countries wouldn’t take them back. And even that’s no excuse, for two reasons: the Supreme Court decision Obama’s people point to (Zadvydas v. Davis) limiting open-ended detention beyond six months of any criminal aliens whose countries won’t take them back has significant wiggle room in it – wiggle room the administration refuses, in this one and only instance, to take advantage of.
And second, the law requires the State Department to impose visa sanctions on countries that won’t take their own citizens back, a requirement Secretaries Clinton and Kerry have simply ignored. Some of the blood of these 121 murdered Americans (whose names we don’t know, presumably because ICE is protecting their murders’ privacy rights) is on the hands of this administration, which chose to release the convicted criminal aliens back into the United States rather than keep them in detention.
If that’s not depressing enough, Maria Sachetti at the Boston Globe has done yeoman’s work in uncovering hundreds of immigrant sex criminals whom ICE let go because of the same Supreme Court ruling – without even making sure they were registered with local authorities as sex offenders. Here’s what happened in several instances after their release by ICE: Immigration officials tried to deport Luis-Leyva Vargas, 47, to Cuba after he served three years in a Florida prison for unlawful sex with a teen. In 2008, officials released him. Two years later, he kidnapped an 18-year-old in Rockingham County, Va., at knifepoint and raped her. Now he is serving a 55-year prison sentence. Felix Rodriguez, a 67-year-old sex offender convicted of raping children as young as 4 in the 1990s, was freed in 2009, also because Cuba would not take him back. Months later, he fatally shot his girlfriend in Kansas City. He pleaded guilty and is serving 10 years in a Missouri prison. Andrew Rui Stanley, convicted in 2000 of multiple counts of sodomizing a child when Stanley was 14, was released in 2009 after Brazil failed to provide a passport needed to send him home. For the next two years, he viciously abused three children in St. Louis and now, at age 31, will be in prison for the rest of his life. None of these sickening crimes should have been allowed to occur. An administration that took public safety seriously would find ways to detain criminals until they could be deported, and apply whatever pressure was needed to get their native countries to comply. But this is not that administration. And finally, on a less grisly note, my colleague Jessica Vaughan has uncovered data showing a collapse in worksite enforcement.
In effect, as the Washington Times headline put it, “Obama gives free pass to businesses that hire illegals.” From 2013 to 2015, the number of ICE audits of employer records (to check the work eligibility of employees) dropped 86 percent; arrests of crooked employers dropped 73 percent; and fines collected dropped 51 percent. It seems that once it became clear that Sen. Rubio’s amnesty/immigration-surge bill was not going to reach his desk, Obama called a halt to the (limited) show of worksite enforcement he had ordered up to persuade skeptical Republican House members that he could be trusted to enforce the provisions of Rubio’s amnesty/immigration-surge bill. The fact that he cut back so drastically on enforcement when it was no longer politically useful is proof that such skepticism was warranted.
And finally, as evidence of this administration’s true priorities, USCIS is broadcasting “DACA Renewal Tips” out of a concern that some recipients of Obama’s lawless version of the DREAM Act amnesty may not renew their two-year work permits (presumably to avoid paying the fee, since they that there won’t be any enforcement consequences from reverting to illegal status).