Assistant Homeland Security Secretary, Sarah R. Saldana, testified to Congress on Wednesday that ICE had given away $113 million designated for deportations to other departments, because there were not enough illegal aliens to deport while also admitting that more than 179,000 illegal aliens who have committed crimes are roaming free in the United States.
Ms. Saldana said that most of the releases are due to court orders or because of a Supreme Court case that limits how long illegal aliens can be detained, especially when their own countries will not take them back.
She estimated that there could be as many as 15 million illegal aliens in the U.S., yet acknowledged that deportations have dropped from around 135,000 in 2012 to only around 63,000 in fiscal year 2015.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) responded to those numbers saying, "You're actually removing less than half as many criminal aliens than you were in just 2011, and you're turning back money you were given for that very purpose.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, added during the hearing that the 179,029 “undocumented criminals with final orders of removal” from the United States currently remain at large across the country and are essentially untraceable.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said he was “totally dissatisfied” with DHS’s release of illegal criminal alien, Jean Jacques. He was released after serving a 17-year sentence then stabbed and killed a local woman 6 months later. Ms. Saldana said that they were unable to deport the illegal alien because his home country would not accept him and under federal law they could not hold him past his sentencing. The safety concerns presented by illegal criminal aliens gained national attention after the shooting of Kate Steinle that happened in July 2015.
Jessica Vaughan, Policy Studies Director at the Center for Immigration Studies, criticized ICE’s decision to give away the $13 million saying,
"At a time when they're releasing criminal aliens left and right and there's a surge at the border, they decided to take money from the critical function of detention and removal of aliens, most of whom are criminals, and put it into other functions in DHS. There's no more obvious indication of how much lower a priority the removal of criminal aliens is — or enforcement in general."
Read more at The Washington Times.
Updated: Fri, Dec 18th 2015 @ 10:40am EST