Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldaña struggled to explain the reasons behind the Obama administration’s release of thousands of criminal immigrants when pressed by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) Tuesday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing.
In Fiscal Year 2014, ICE released 30,558 convicted criminal immigrants, convicted of 79,059 crimes, allowing them to walk free in the U.S.
“One-quarter of these 30,000 criminal aliens had been convicted of level one crimes, such as murder, rape, and sexual abuse of a minor. of those 30,000, only 8 percent wereZadvydas cases,” Smith said referring to the Supreme Court case that prevents the indefinite detention of certain immigrants.
“Thousands could have been deported. Why did you — why did the administration intentionally endanger the lives of innocent Americans by releasing thousands of criminal aliens into our neighborhoods?” he asked.
Saldaña responded that such releases are “an area of great concern for me.”
The ICE director pointed to the courts and the the Zadvydas case as reasons.
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