The records, obtained by USA TODAY, show immigration officials released some undocumented immigrants who had faced far more serious criminal charges, including people charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking and homicide.
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In hearings last year, Republican lawmakers pressed then-ICE Director John Morton for specifics on the criminal records of the people the agency had freed. At one, Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-Va., asked Morton directly, “No one on that list has been charged or convicted with murder, rape or sexual abuse of a minor, were they?”
Morton answered, “They were not.”
He told lawmakers that, to his knowledge, none had faced child pornography charges.
White House spokesman Jay Carney similarly described them as “low-risk, non-criminal detainees.”
A spreadsheet ICE officials prepared listing the detainees includes one person in Texas charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexually assaulting a child, as well as others charged with armed assaults or assaulting police officers. Another immigrant released from Miami had been charged with conspiracy to commit homicide. Two detainees from Boston had been charged with aggravated assault using a weapon. One in Denver had a sexual assault charge. The agency released the spreadsheet to USA TODAY under the Freedom of Information Act.
ICE’s records do not indicate whether the detainees were convicted of those crimes or merely charged with them. The agency said it would not release information identifying any of the detainees because doing so would invade their privacy, so it was impossible to examine the details of their cases.
Our government, which monitors our Internet traffic and mines our phone data, is suddenly concerned with “privacy” when it comes to information that might embarrass the government.
They are failing in government’s most fundamental task: protection of the public. Worse, one suspects it’s part of a pro-immigrant policy on the part of the Obama administration. Any way you slice it, the ICE director provided false information to Congress, and there may be murderers and sex offenders walking around in our midst. Somehow, I don’t think the government is motivated by concerns for “privacy.”
It’s good to see USA Today starting to hold the administration’s feet to the fire. Turn up the flame.