Congressman Lamar Smith

Representing the 21st District of Texas
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Smith: ICE Authorizes Worst “Prison Break” in History

May 12, 2014
Press Release
Releases Thousands of Criminal Immigrants Convicted of Murder, Rape, Kidnapping, Aggravated Assault and Drunk Driving

Former Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today responded to troubling reports that the Obama administration released more than 36,000 criminal immigrants in 2013, including individuals convicted of murder, rape, kidnapping, and drunk driving.  According to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers released 36,007 criminal illegal immigrants into American communities last year alone. Together these 36,000 criminals had 88,000 convictions, including 193 homicide convictions, 426 sexual assault convictions, 303 kidnapping convictions, 9,187 dangerous drug convictions, and 16,070 drunk or drugged driving convictions. 

Congressman Smith: “President Obama’s lax immigration policies have put the lives of Americans at risk.  In 2013, ICE officials reportedly released more than 36,000 criminal immigrants who had nearly 88,000 convictions.

“Obama administration officials want the American people to think these individuals were guilty of minor, petty offenses.  But the convictions tell a chilling story.  Among those released were criminal immigrants convicted of murder, rape, kidnapping, drunk driving, and aggravated assault. 

“According to information obtained by the Center for Immigration Studies, the crimes committed by the released immigrants include nearly 200 convictions of homicide, over 400 sexual assault convictions, more than 300 kidnapping convictions, and upwards of 16,000 drunk or drugged driving convictions. 

“This would be considered the worst prison break in American history, except it was sanctioned by the President and perpetrated by our own immigration officials. These criminal immigrants should have been deported to ensure that they could never commit crimes on U.S. soil.  But instead, ICE officials chose not to detain them and instead released them back onto American streets. 

“The Administration’s actions are outrageous.  They willfully and knowingly put the interests of criminal immigrants before the safety and security of the American people. 

“There should be no discussion of reforming our nation’s immigration laws until the President enforces the laws currently on the books.  The safety of the American people should be the President’s top priority.  We need a President who follows the law and deports criminal immigrants who violate our laws and endanger our lives.”