And they....held a hearing.
But at least it was a heated one. And the slimy Obamunist hack in front of the klieg lights didn't disappoint:
The Obama administration took fire at a House hearing Thursday for releasing back into society thousands of illegal [alien]s who had committed crimes on U.S. soil – including those behind more than two hundred murders.
“These are people that were here illegally, got caught committing a crime, were convicted of that crime and instead of deporting them, they were just released back out in the United States of America,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-UT3, said.
According to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2015 “freed 19,723 criminal aliens, who had a total of 64,197 convictions among them.”
This included “8,234 violent convictions and 208 homicide convictions.”
Pretty damning and convicting, isn't it? But have no fear, my friends, because ICE Direktor Sarah Saldana had her shield of defiant, self-righteous unrighteousness all ready to go:
ICE Director Sarah Saldana defended her agency, even characterizing the statistics as an improvement while claiming they were being politically manipulated.
“I can’t tell you how disheartening it is to hear a very important issue being bandied about as a political football,” Saldana said. “I would ask we focus on solutions rather than political banter.”
"How DARE you unwashed racist mortals try to hold a god accountable to your petty Constitution! You will bow down and worship and beg for his forgiveness for your heinous sedition this very instant!"
Saldana described the number of releases in 2015 as an improvement over prior years.
While not disputing the 2015 numbers. Meaning that the numbers of illegal alien felons turned loose were even higher in previous years. Like the 36,007 in 2013 and 30,558 in 2014, figures that were low-balled dramatically by the Regime, which should be very informative as to the validity of the figure of 19.723 for last year.
Saldana has been trying to sell that declining trend as a product of her courageous and vigilant leadership in implementing policies like, "enhanced oversight for custody determinations....which include stepped-up internal review of such decisions and additional monitoring of criminal aliens released," as she tried to pass off to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last month.
The true explanation is a bit....different.:
Nice try, but in fact the main reason that fewer criminals were released in 2015 is because fewer criminals were arrested to begin with. In 2015, ICE made 119,772 arrests, or just half the number of arrests made in 2013 (232,287). Under the strict [non-]enforcement rules implemented as part of [the Immigration Proclamation], ICE officers are forced to ignore a large share of the criminal aliens they identify in jails or who are referred by local law enforcement agencies.
Sounds criminal itself, doesn't it?
The impact on public safety of these releases has been profound. So far, 124 criminal aliens released by ICE have subsequently been charged with homicide....When ICE releases criminal aliens instead of deporting them, the chances are high that the aliens will re-offend. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately 71% of violent offenders, 77% of drug offenders, and 82% of property offenders will be arrested for a new crime within five years of release from jail or prison. Drunk drivers are especially prone to offend repeatedly. According to an FBI statistic cited by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the average drunk driver has driven drunk eighty times before ever being arrested.
When confronted with this inconvenient truth, Saldana tried to fob off the blame on the courts:
Saldana also pushed back strongly on accusations from Chaffetz that ICE had a choice when releasing many of the [alien]s with criminal convictions.
“To sit there and say that the proud women and men of law enforcement and ICE are choosing to release criminals is absolutely unforgiveable,” she said. “They do not go around trying to put criminals on the streets.”
No, Direktor Saldana, they don't go around trying to put criminals on the streets of their own accord; they succeed in putting criminals on the streets, in nearly half of all instances, at your direct orders:
For the first time, ICE has provided information on the reasons for the criminal alien releases. In 2015, more than half the releases occurred due to an immigration judge decision. In many cases, ICE shares responsibility for these decisions, depending on how vigorously the ICE attorneys argue for detention.
i.e. Not very.
In more than 2,166 cases, the criminal alien was released because his/her home country refused to take him/her back. In eighty-nine cases, ICE was unable to obtain a travel document for the alien. In these circumstances, ICE can hold the alien for no longer than 180 days.
As of January 2016, the following countries were designated by ICE as "uncooperative" in accepting deportees: Afghanistan, Algeria, Burundi, Cape Verde, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, and Zimbabwe.
The latter on which House Government Reform & Oversight Committee Democrats had the PR acumen to focus, as it's the non-deportation cause over which ICE legitimately does have the least control, even though it accounts for 11% of the 2015 releases. In which case, might I suggest....Gitmo? Or liquidation? Or anything else but turning them loose to prey on American citizens?
The honors for finally breaking Direktor Saldana fell to House Freedom Caucus chairman Jim Jordan, who verbally battered her into some semblance of submission:
There was also a contentious exchange between Saldana and Representative Jim Jordan, R-OH4, over the fact that agency discretion - as opposed to court orders - prompted many of the releases.
“You just decided, we’re not going to follow the law, we’re going to release them,” Jordan said.
Saldana maintained she follows the law and the illegal [alien]s who were released were freed only after “careful analysis.”
“I’m guessing the families here would disagree with your careful analysis,” he said.
Saldana responded, “We are humans and we do fall short sometimes.”
The "Whoops! There goes another rubber tree" dodge. Or "mistakes were made", as it's more commonly known. But at least Jordan took the edge off of her unrighteous self-righteousness.
Now how's about we revisit that damnable Obamnesty funding? Gosh, that'd sure be a lot easier to do under regular order budget procedures, wouldn't it?