At the request of Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) DHS’ Office of Inspector General released a report showing that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials “could have and should have done more to remove Jean Jacques from this country before he had the chance to brutally murder Casey Chadwick."
Jean Jacques, an illegal alien, had been released only five months after serving 17 years in prison for an attempted murder in a separate case when he stabbed and killed 25-year-old Casey Chadwick in her home in 2015. Jacques had a final order of removal to be deported after serving his 17 years but ICE was forced to release him after their three attempts to deport him failed due to a Supreme Court ruling that limits how long an illegal alien can be detained.
According to the DHS report ICE lacked the documents needed to prove Jacques’ nationality so Haiti denied all three attempts by ICE to deport him back to his home country. After the third attempt the Haitian official said that ICE should try to go through the Haiti consulate in Miami, FL to get the documents needed to prove Jacques was a Haitian citizen. There are no records that ICE reached out to the consulate or that the agency formally escalated this case to get the State Department’s help in deporting Jacques.
The report did say that even if all the steps had been taken, “We cannot conclude that those steps would have resulted in Jacques’ removal from the United States.”
The DHS report cited an overburdened case load for ICE officers as one reason why all the steps had not been taken. Plus, ICE officers believed that the State Department would not intervene to help a violent offender like Jacques get deported. “(ICE) believed that the State Department’s involvement was typically limited to aliens engaged in terrorism or human rights violations,” the report said.
The report also found that due to the large case load ICE officials prioritize their cases based on the possibility of removability, not by risk-based analysis. “There’s no system in place to prioritize risk to the public,” Rep. Courtney said in an interview. “We certainly hear from the agencies that they prioritize (violent criminals). But instead officials appear to choose deportation cases they can process the quickest,” he said.
Pres. Obama has claimed that deporting criminal aliens is a “priority” under his Priority Enforcement Program (PEP). However, under this policy 60% of all criminal aliens were released in 2015 alone according to ICE.
"The report provides the most comprehensive and detailed accounting for what happened in this case to date, and the findings are nothing short of alarming," said the statement from Sens. Blumenthal, Murphy and Rep. Courtney.
"It is clear that more needs to be done to ensure that our nation is using every tool possible to secure the removal of dangerous individuals, evidenced by the inability of ICE to overcome Haiti's objections to Jacques' deportation. ICE lacks the framework for effective risk-based monitoring and supervision of released individuals like Jacques who have violent criminal pasts."
Read more on this story at The Bulletin 225.
Updated: Tue, Jul 5th 2016 @ 4:10pm EDT