MAY 23, 2006
A government report reveals that more than one third of illegal aliens arrested annually – many of them criminals and would-be terrorists – are released because federal agencies can’t afford to hold them until they are deported.
Conducted by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General, the lengthy report says that lack of personnel, a shortage of beds in detention centers and overall lack of funding prevents U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from deporting suspected criminals who present a public safety threat.
The statistics are downright scary and present an obvious threat to homeland security. Of 774,112 illegal aliens apprehended in the past three years and deemed “removable,” 280,987 were released into the general population creating a significant risk to Americans in various communities.
Another interesting point is that, although ICE’s office of Detention and Removal has received extra money to enhance its fugitive program, it’s unlikely that many of the released aliens will ever be deported. To help illustrate this, the report sites a disturbing statistic; as of December 30, 2005, more than half a million released aliens with deportation orders had fled into the country. Their whereabouts are still unknown.
Now that this security lapse is documented and the Department of Homeland Security has been shamed, officials have vowed finally to take action. The agency’s assistant secretary, Julie Myers, says plans are underway to increase capacity to detain, process and remove aliens who pose a security or public safety threat.
It may be tough to believe Myers considering her past. Last month Debbie Schlussel posted Myers’ written instructions – sent by an outraged federal agent – to Detention and Removal Operations agents regarding which aliens can be released. They include those convicted of crimes relating to domestic violence, stalking and the abuse or neglect of children, among others.
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