Obama’s silence on Kathryn Steinle killing is deafening

silence

Obama’s silence on Kathryn Steinle killing is deafening

By Marc A. Thiessen July 13 at 9:33 AM

After Trayvon Martin was killed, President Obama spoke emotionally about his death, declaring “this could have been my son.”

-After Michael Brown was killed, Obama promised to ensure that “justice is done” and declared: “We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking and tragic circumstances. He was 18 years old. His family will never hold Michael in their arms again.” He even sent administration officials to attend Brown’s funeral.

-After Freddie Gray was killed, Obama walked out to the Rose Garden and declared: “We have some soul-searching to do. This has been going on for a long time. This is not new, and we shouldn’t pretend that it’s new.”

-But after Kathryn Steinle was killed July 1, allegedly by an illegal immigrant with seven felony convictions, Obama said . . . nothing.  No promises of “justice.” No calls for “soul-searching.”

imagesSanctuary laws are in the national spotlight after an illegal immigrant with prior deportations and a criminal history pleaded not guilty to murdering a woman at a San Francisco pier.  His silence has been deafening.

Why has Obama been so reticent to speak out? Perhaps it is because any soul-searching in this case would require him to confront the fact that his administration has been releasing tens of thousands of dangerous illegal immigrants with criminal convictions into our communities — including many who have gone on to commit murder.

It got little notice, but on May 28, Sarah Saldana, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, admitted in a letter to Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that between fiscal years 2010 and 2014, the Obama administration had released “121 unique criminal aliens who had an active [deportation] case at the time of release and were subsequently charged with homicide-related offenses.”

Think about that: 121 times over the past four years, the administration has released an illegal immigrant with prior criminal convictions who went on to be charged with murder. That is one every 12 days.

In one case, an illegal immigrant and felon named Apolinar Altamirano allegedly gunned down a 21-year-old Arizona convenience store clerk, Grant Ronnebeck, over a pack of cigarettes. Altamirano had been convicted of felony burglary and was in the middle of deportation proceedings. But ICE released him after he posted a $10,000 bond — which allowed him to allegedly go kill an innocent young man. Asked by Sens. Flake and Grassley whether she had notified state and local authorities when Altamirano was released, Saldana replied, “ICE does not routinely notify local authorities when a detainee is released on bond from ICE custody.”ILLEGAL-ALIEN-CHILDREN-GANGBANGERS

ICE also does not routinely notify local authorities when it releases illegal immigrants who are sex offenders. Last month, a Boston Globe investigation found that between 2008 and 2012, ICE released 424 sex offenders into communities across the country — including “convicted rapists, child molesters and kidnappers” — and that “immigration officials have released them without making sure they register with local authorities as sex offenders.” The paper further found that “At least 34 of the 424 released sex offenders . . . were back in jail as of last month, state records show, some for heinous crimes committed after ICE released them.”

In 2013, the Obama administration released 36,007 illegal immigrants with criminal convictions — 1,000 of whom were subsequently convicted of other crimes after their release. Last year they released 30,558 such immigrants. According to the House Judiciary Committee, only 8 percent of those were due to the Supreme Court’s decision in Zadvydas v. Davis, which requires that illegal immigrants be released after 180 days if their home countries won’t take them back. The other 92 percent were released because of Obama’s policies.

Feds released hundreds of immigrant murderers, drunk drivers, sex-crimes convicts

Feds released hundreds of immigrant murderers, drunk drivers, sex-crimes convicts

STORY TOPICS
  • Politics
  • Social Issues
  • Barack Obama
  • Jessica Vaughan

 

 

Immigration officials knowingly released dozens of murderers and thousands of drunken drivers back into the U.S. in 2013, according to Obama administration statistics that could undercut the president’s argument that he is trying to focus on the most serious criminals in his immigration enforcement.

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.”

The immigrants were in deportation proceedings, meaning ICE was trying to remove them from the country and could have held them in detention but released them anyway, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, which published the numbers Monday. The Washington Times also obtained the data.

“This would be considered the worst prison break in American history, except it was sanctioned by the president and perpetrated by our own immigration officials,” said Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican. “Theadministration’s actions are outrageous. They willfully and knowingly put the interests of criminal immigrants before the safety and security of the American people.”

The data raised thorny questions about how the government decides which immigrants to detain and which it will release as they await court hearings and final action on deportation.

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Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, said the numbers undercut the Obama administration’s argument that it is trying to keep its enforcement efforts targeted at dangerous criminals.

“We keep hearing from theadministration 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.

Mr. Goodlatte and Mr. Smith asked ICE for the release numbers but said the agency never turned them over.

“These criminals should be locked up, not roaming our streets,” the lawmakers said.

ICE has told Congress it doesn’t need to hold as many immigrants in detention. In its budget request this year, ICE asked that Congress fund slightly more than 30,500 detention beds a day, down from the 34,000 set in current law.