OCTOBER 16, 2008
Tens of thousands of foreign nationals, including violent convicted criminals, who have been ordered deported from the U.S. are instead released into the general population because their native countries won’t take them back.
An alarming investigation conducted by one of the key federal agencies in charge of protecting national security (Immigration and Customs Enforcement—ICE) reveals that 139,000 foreigners with deportation orders remain free in the U.S. because they have nowhere to go. Nearly 20,000 of them have been convicted of serious crimes, including murder and child molestation.
Examples include a refugee from Laos convicted of murder in Texas and an Iranian man convicted of drugging a teenage employee of his business and molesting her. After serving a decade in prison, the murderer from Laos was released to immigration officials and, when the country refused to have him repatriated, he was released in Dallas.
Because Iran refused to take back the convicted child molester, he too was set free after serving a prison sentence. Now the illegal immigrant sex offender lives in Houston where his ex-wife, whom he has threatened, lives in fear that he might hurt her or their children.
Houston’s mayor has offered protection for the family, but the city’s crime victims’ office director points out that the violent illegal immigrant child molester knows he’s untouchable. “He got the ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card,” the director said.
Immigration officials say their hands are tied. After an immigrant completes a jail sentence, the agency is only allowed to detain them for six months. In many instances, the aliens are repatriated before that but in others they are not because their country refuses to take them back. Among the countries that regularly refuse to accept their deported nationals are China, India, Iran, Vietnam and Ethiopia.
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