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immigrant offenders

More than 19,700 Convicted Criminal Immigrants Were Released in 2015

By Peek & Toland on July 1, 2016

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) released almost 20,000 undocumented criminal immigrants who had been convicted of offenses last year with Texas and California seeing the most releases.

An analysis of the figures by the Center for Immigration Studies stated ICE released 19,723 illegal immigrants with a criminal conviction. They had 64,197 convictions between them.

  • Thousands of criminal immigrants are released

Between 2013 and 2015, Texas and California released 10,000 to 30,000 undocumented immigrants with convictions, the analysis stated.

The Center for Immigration Studies pointed out more than 200 people convicted of murder were released and more than 900 people convicted of sex crimes.

The Center for Immigration Studies is known for its tough line on immigration. However, it’s worth noting that traffic offenses and DWIs accounted for 12,307 of the offenses committed by those released last year.

Media reports also referred to the difficulties the U.S. can face in deporting undocumented immigrants who are convicted of serious crimes.

CBS News reported how the U.S. repeatedly tried to deport Jean Jacques to Haiti after he served more than 10 years in a state prison for attempted murder and violations of parole. Haiti would not take him back.

He was released last year by ICE and killed a young woman from Connecticut six months later.

Although these kinds of tragedies are rare, they make headlines. Donald Trump, the Republican Presidential nominee, has pledged to deport 11 million illegal immigrants. The difficulties ICE has faced getting countries such as Haiti to accept people with convictions confirms how difficult these mass deportations could prove to be.

Sarah Saldana, the Director of ICE, provided written testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in April that revealed how more than 86,000 undocumented immigrants who were convicted of criminal offenses were released from FY 2013 to 2015.

ICE appears to have made some progress in reducing the number of releases. The number of illegal immigrant offenders released fell from 36,007 in 2013 to 30,558 in 2014. It was down by another 10,000 last year.

Reports revealed about half of the 19,700 people who were released in 2015 were set free on bond by immigration judges. ICE pointed out it has no control whatsoever over the decisions of U.S. immigration judges, while 2,000 releases were in compliance with a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court 15 years ago which places a six-month cap on the time immigrants can be held in detention in absence of special circumstances.

At Peek and Toland, PLLC, we specialize in fighting deportations in Texas. We also defend those who are accused of crimes by federal agencies.

If you are facing serious allegations or deportation, we can help. To find out more about how the vastly experienced lawyers at Peek & Toland can assist you and your case, contact us at today (512) 474-4445.

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