Immigrant criminals re-offend at higher rates than ICE estimates, report says

A recent investigation shows that 30 percent of illegal immigrants who committed crimes were charged with new offenses – such as rape, child molestation and attempted murder – contrary to assurances from federal officials that the criminals rarely went on to re-offend.

The investigation by The Boston Globe revealed that 30 percent of 323 criminal immigrants released in New England from 2008-2012 went on to re-offend, a rate more than four times as high as previously suggested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

While speaking before a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee in 2011, ICE Executive Associate Director Gary Mead said only 7 percent of illegal aliens released since 2009 had been re-booked into ICE custody. But The Globe review of records in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine showed recidivism was substantially higher.

The Globe investigation took three years, as staffers searched police logs, Internet databases, court records and media reports to identify which criminal immigrants had committed new crimes. A judge ordered the names of the 323 immigrants released in 2013.

Among the crimes The Globe uncovered:

- A Massachusetts man marked for deportation after serving jail time for hitting his ex-girlfriend on the head with a hammer was released in October 2009. He later found the woman and stabbed her multiple times.

- A Maine man with a long criminal record robbed a man at knifepoint outside a 7-Eleven soon after his release from ICE custody.

- ICE fought to deport Jean Jacques to Haiti in 2012, but released him when Haiti wouldn’t accept him. Jacques stabbed a Connecticut man to death in 2015.

“ICE is committed to continually improving the agency’s ability to track and manage ever-evolving agency-related data, but the agency does not have statistically reliable information on recidivism rates prior to (2013),” ICE spokesman Shawn Neudauer told The Globe in an email.

ICE has released 86,288 criminals nationally from 2013-2015.