AUGUST 12, 2010
In a reprehensible move for an agency charged with protecting the nation, the Department of Homeland Security has released nearly 500 illegal immigrants—who remain fugitives—from terrorist-sponsoring countries and others known to present a danger to the U.S.
The appalling information was revealed this week by a conservative news publication that obtained government records under the Freedom of Information Act. The records show that from 2007 to 2009, the Department of Homeland Security caught and released 481 illegal aliens from nations designated by the State Department as sponsors of terrorism or “countries of interest.”
The dangerous illegal immigrants remain fugitives whose whereabouts are unknown, according to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) database accessed by the news group. All came from four nations that sponsor terrorism—Iran, Syria, Sudan and Cuba—or countries determined by the U.S. government to present a threat. Those include Afghanistan, Algeria, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.
The information obtained in the public records request includes the date that each illegal immigrant was taken into custody by the federal government, which ICE jurisdiction arrested them, the date they were released, the status of their case and other personal details about the alien. The records specifically state that there are 481 “active” cases for “fugitives” from the four state sponsors of terror and nine of the 10 “countries of interest.”
Cuba has the most with 137, followed by Nigeria (97), Pakistan (87) and Lebanon (34). Iran and Iraq have 29 and 26 respectively and Somalia 22. The rest include Somalia (22), Sudan (14), Syria (13) and Yemen and Algeria with eight each. Afghanistan has four and Saudi Arabia, where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from, has two.
ICE justifies their release by explaining that the immigration detention system can only accommodate a portion of the 1.6 million aliens being processed in the country. Everyone can’t be detained, so “we have to prioritize who we put in detention,” says an ICE official. Apparently the U.S. government doesn’t consider it a priority to keep undocumented nationals from terrorist-sponsoring nations from roaming freely throughout the country.
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