U.S. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Ranking Member and Chairman of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, today released the following new information about the February 2013 release of ICE detainees with criminal records:
In February 2013, in a misguided effort to comply with anticipated budget cuts due in part to sequestration, without explanation or warning, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials released from custody 2,226 detainees into communities across the country. In response to requests for information by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), after a three month delay and under threat of a possible subpoena, finally disclosed details about those releases. DHS disclosed that, as part of the larger release, it freed 622 detainees with criminal records, including 32 with multiple felony convictions.
Among the 32 detainees, for example, ICE’s Phoenix District Office released a detainee who had a felony second degree robbery prior conviction and countless convictions for prostitution and solicitation for lewd conduct. The Phoenix office releases also included an individual who had been convicted of an extreme case of driving under the influence (DUI) and harassment, as well as having caused criminal damage to property, as well as a detainee who had prior convictions for carrying a loaded firearm, DUI with a controlled substance, felony possession of drugs, second degree burglary, vandalism, and trespassing. The San Francisco Field Office released someone with a prior felony conviction to manufacture fake identifications as well as a man with two DUIs and two stalking convictions, the last one as recent as 2012. The Houston office deemed a person convicted of felony possession of marijuana of up to 2,000 pounds acceptable for release.