by Kristin Tate 14 May 2014, 11:43 AM PDT
Breitbart Texas recently reported on the release of 36,000 convicted criminal illegal immigrants, including almost 200 murderers, who were released back into the U.S. by immigration officials in 2013. The figures were outlined in a report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). Breitbart Texas subsequently reached out to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices around the country, in an attempt to learn more about release policies.
Each ICE representative that Breitbart Texas came in contact with was familiar with the CIS report, but would not comment on it. They additionally refused to answer general questions regarding detention and release policies.
"We were given specific instructions not to comment on that report," said Greg Palmore, a Texas-based ICE spokesman, during a phone interview with Breitbart Texas.
Rather than comment, they all provided the same press release that was apparently drawn up by a press secretary in Washington, D.C.
The statement said, "Many of the individuals described in the report were released under restrictions such as GPS monitoring, telephone monitoring, supervision, or surety bond. ... [Some] were released as a discretionary matter after career law enforcement officers made a judgment regarding the priority of holding the individual, given ICE’s resources, and prioritizing the detention and removal of individuals who pose a risk to public safety or national security."
It is easy to surmise why the Washington, D.C. bureau instructed ICE agents around the country to not talk about the shocking CIS report, as it raises questions about the Obama Administration's enforcement policies. The newly-released figures also may prompt concerns regarding public safety.
The CIS report claimed that the 36,000 released criminals were collectively convicted of 88,000 crimes. These convictions include 426 sexual assaults, 303 kidnappings, 193 homicides, 1,317 domestic violence assaults, and 1,724 weapon offenses.
The immigrants were apparently being processed for deportation at the time they were let go. ICE could have held these individuals in detention, "but released them anyway," according to a report by the Washington Times. The CIS added that many of the releases were likely "discretionary," and not in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Jessica Vaughan, the director of policy studies at the CIS said, "We keep hearing from the administration that they are focused like a laser on enforcement against the worst of the worst, convicted criminals, as their top priority. On the other hand, they are releasing, at a rate of about 100 a day, aliens from their custody with criminal convictions, and many of them are serious criminal convictions."