(NaturalNews) Immigration — or, more correctly, President Obama’s threatened executive action to legalize millions of people who came into the country illegally — factored in heavily in a number of House and Senate races around the country ahead of the Nov. 4 midterm elections: As in, a majority of Americans hate the idea, and candidates running on an anti-amnesty platform are surging in the polls.
That said, reports continue to surface that Obama is planning to carry out his earlier threats to act on his own regarding amnesty. In the meantime, the administration is doing as little as possible to enforce existing immigration law, and that includes a) refusing to deport those who are caught in the United States illegally; and b) withholding the names of those who are released into American cities.
During a recent appearance on Fox’s Your World With Neil Cavuto, Pinal County, Arizona, Sheriff Paul Babeu said the administration has not just “knowingly lied” about releasing illegal alien criminals into American society, but the Department of Homeland Security — which oversees federal immigration agencies — also is refusing to release the names of those criminals so law enforcement personnel can protect American citizens.
In a letter sent to DHS Assistant Secretary John Morton more than a year ago, Babeu says he tried to get the names of criminals released just in his county but has so far gotten nothing in response.
“I need to protect the citizens of my county and God knows where these individuals are,” Babeu told Cavuto. “And they have a greater propensity for recidivism, the return to crime, because they’re not even from our country. And they have committed some of the most egregious crimes of murder and armed robbery and assault against a cop.”
Tens of thousands of criminal aliens being released
Babeu’s concerns are valid because, according to the government’s own figures, the number of criminal aliens being released is substantial. According to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), ICE — Immigration and Customs Enforcement — released tens of thousands of them last year:
In 2013, ICE freed 36,007 convicted criminal aliens from detention who were awaiting the outcome of deportation proceedings, according to a document obtained by the Center for Immigration Studies. This group included aliens convicted of hundreds of violent and serious crimes, including homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping, and aggravated assault.
Of those released, the CIS said, more than 16,000 had been convicted of drunk driving or driving while under the influence of drugs. The CIS said that, based on ICE statistics, the vast majority of the releases were discretionary — in other words, they were not required by law.
“In fact,” the CIS said, “in some instances, apparently contrary to law.”
The releases also were not the result of local “sanctuary” policies — when local officials have decided to let their cities serve as sanctuaries for illegal aliens.
ICE officials lied to Congress?
“The document reveals that the 36,007 convicted criminal aliens freed from ICE custody in many instances had multiple convictions. Among them, the 36,007 had nearly 88,000 convictions,” the CIS said, quoting ICE statistics. See the full CIS report here.
In a separate story, Breitbart News and USA Today reported that last year — when Obama administration officials told Congress and the public that 2,200 criminal aliens released by the federal government had only minor infractions — in reality, some of the illegal immigrants had been charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking and even homicide, according to ICE figures.
Breitbart News reported further:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had told Congress that the inmates who were released were “low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal records.” Records reveal that ICE was readying itself for budget cuts in February 2013 when it released the immigrants, only two-thirds of whom had no criminal records.
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