Published July 31, 2012
Roughly one in six illegal immigrants is re-arrested on criminal charges within three years of release, according to new government data being released Tuesday.
Those charges range from murder to drunken-driving and, according to House Republicans pushing out the report, are symptoms of what they describe as a "dangerous and deadly" immigration policy.
The findings, obtained by Fox News, are contained in reports by the Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee and nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. They are the result of the committee’s subpoena request for Department of Homeland Security records from October 2008 to July 2011.
The information was analyzed by the CRS, which also broke down the information for criminal immigrants -- legal immigrants who committed crimes and were arrested again over the three-year period. Together, the two groups also had a roughly one-in-six recidivism rate.
The records show 276,412 reported charges against illegal and criminal immigrants over that three-year period as identified by Secure Communities, a federal program that essentially attempts to make best use of resources by identifying and prioritizing which illegal immigrants pose the biggest threat to public safety and should be arrested or deported.
Of the 160,000 people in the database, more than 26,000 were re-arrested -- accounting for nearly 58,000 crimes and violations.
They allegedly committed nearly 8,500 drunken-driving offenses and more than 6,000 drug-related violations. The records also show major criminal offenses, which included murder, battery, rape, kidnapping and nearly 3,000 thefts. Roughly 2 percent of the crimes included carjacking, child molestation, lynching and torture, according to the 13-page Congressional Research Service report.
“The Obama administration could have prevented these senseless crimes by enforcing our immigration laws,” the committee chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said. “But President Obama continues to further his anti-enforcement agenda while innocent Americans suffer the consequences.”
The report showed that more than 7,000 of those re-arrested were illegal immigrants. Among their charges were 19 murders, three attempted murders and 142 sex crimes.
The records were subpoenaed last year in large part over concerns that Obama administration changes to Secure Communities was allowing “potentially millions of illegal and criminal immigrants to avoid current immigration law,” according to the GOP-led House committee.
Barbara Gonzalez, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said, Many of the individuals cited in the report were not removable under current law or were released by local officials before ICE could respond. Because ICE is congressionally funded to remove a limited number of individuals each year, the agency prioritizes our enforcement efforts."
She also said that the agency in fiscal 2011 removed more than 396,000 people -- the largest number in ICE history. Gonzalez said roughly 55 percent of those removed were convicted criminals.
Committee members cited one case in which an illegal immigrant was flagged by Secure Communities for a June 2010 vehicle theft and then arrested five months later for attempted grand theft.
He was then arrested roughly six months later in connection with murder. He and two other men allegedly attempted to rob a 68-year-old man. When the victim’s grandson intervened, the illegal immigrant allegedly shot and killed the grandson, according to the committee.
“While this illegal immigrant should have been detained and deported, he was not considered a priority under the Obama administration’s reckless immigration policy and was released onto our streets,” the committee concluded.