NOVEMBER 18, 2009
More than 1,000 illegal immigrants awaiting trial for serious crimes in one major U.S. county were instead deported by federal immigration authorities and freed in their home countries.
The released offenders include at least 128 murderers, more than 400 child rapists and molesters, some 300 charged with aggravated assault and dozens more accused of sexual assault, aggravated robbery, kidnapping and other grave felonies.
The offenders’ newfound freedom came courtesy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal agency that provided a one-way ticket home after bail was posted in their state criminal case. This sort of voluntary deportation to escape justice occurs nationwide, but this batch focuses on just one county in Texas.
Dallas County prosecutors provided the data to a local newspaper, calling it a “wish list” of people they would have liked to see tried. Instead the illegal immigrant criminals got away after bonding out and getting transferred to immigration facilities where they agreed that returning home was better than going to prison in America.
The 1,000 figure doesn’t even include all the illegal immigrant criminals the feds helped get off in the nation’s eighth-largest county, only the most serious, according to frustrated Dallas County officials. They assure defendants knowingly use the system as a means to avoid prosecution. The sad thing, of course, is that a federal agency is aiding and abetting them.
It could be worse, however. The criminals could be released in the U.S., which ICE does regularly and attributes to resource shortages. Earlier this year a Houston newspaper obtained public records that revealed the agency has freed hundreds of illegal immigrants convicted of felonies—including homicide, sexual assault and weapons violations—in the last few years alone. In many cases ICE doesn’t even know the whereabouts of the criminal aliens, who were released in various different states.
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