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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today that it released 30, 558 criminal aliens in fiscal year 2014. About 36,000 had been released in the previous fiscal year. ICE said it had no choice due to overcrowding and the fact that most could not be detained longer under a court decision.

Most of the criminal aliens came from countries that refused to repatriate them. In the Zadvydas v. Davis case, a court said such aliens could not be held indefinitely if there was no likelihood of repatriation.

According to The Washington Times, ICE agreed to try to reduce the problem. Officials promised that overcrowding would never again be the main reason for the release of criminal aliens, and that a release would have to be approved by top supervisors.

Regarding the news, NumbersUSA President Roy Beck said, "The Obama Administration has excused its decision to stop enforcing immigration laws against most illegal aliens by saying it wants to focus only on criminal aliens. But now we have two devastating reports that it can't even be trusted to deport criminal aliens. The problem of countries refusing to take back their criminal citizens from our jails would end in a short time if our Presidents would just stop issuing visas to citizens of those countries until those countries' policies are changed."

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Tex., and other House Republicans introduced legislation (H.R. 583) that would sanction countries that refuse to repatriate their citizens, including the denial of visas.

Read more in The Washington Times.

Update: At a March 19 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, revealed that there were 167,527 non-detained convicted criminal aliens in the United States as of January 26th. The statistic came from weekly detention and departure reports. The hearing examined ICE's priorities and procedures for removing criminal aliens from the United States.

Interior Enforcement

Updated: Wed, Apr 1st 2015 @ 4:20pm EDT