A new Center for Immigration Studies report reveals that ICE in 2013 released from detention over 36,000 illegal aliens with criminal records who were awaiting the final disposition of their deportation cases. These releases are in addition to the 68,000 criminal-alien cases that ICE declined to prosecute for immigration violations that year.

The CIS study found that thousands had convictions for violent or serious crime, including 193 homicide convictions, 426 sexual assault convictions, 303 kidnapping convictions, and 1,075 aggravated assault convictions as well as more than 16,000 drunk or drugged driving convictions. The study also found that 870,000 illegal aliens had their cases removed from ICE prosecution dockets despite being illegally present.

The criminal aliens were released under one of the following scenarios: bond; order of recognizance (unsupervised); order of supervision; alternatives to detention; and parole (a form of legal status).

Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s Director of Policy Studies, said the release of so many dangerous illegal aliens suggests the Obama Administration is not serious about setting deportation priorities or enforcing immigration laws. “I was astonished at not only the huge number of convicted criminals who were freed from ICE custody last year – an average of almost 100 a day -- but also at the large number of very serious crimes they had committed,” Vaughn said. “In light of these numbers, it will be hard to justify further relaxation of enforcement or reductions in detention capacity, as the administration has sought. Congress should resist further action on immigration reform until the public can be assured that enforcement is more robust and that ICE can better deal with its criminal alien caseload without setting them free in our communities.”

In its fiscal year 2015 budget request, ICE asked Congress to reduce the number of detention beds that must be maintained from 34,000 to 30,500. The agency proposed alternatives to detention such as those used for the released criminal aliens, and now appears to be implementing its plan without congressional approval.

View the entire report at

Illegal Immigration

Updated: Mon, May 12th 2014 @ 1:40pm EDT