A recent study has been done that has provided many examples of immigrants who had been arrested for a crime and released, only to be rearrested later for another crime, but it seems that this recidivism rate is much lower than what is typical of the other prison population demographics.
Washington – – a man named Evin Adonis Ortiz was jailed back in January for allegedly slaying a man 24 years of age in LA. After the arrest, Ortiz’s fingerprints were put through the FBI database and it was quickly discovered that he was an illegal alien, and had been previously detained on separate charges. His prior convictions consisted of attempted grand larceny, and driving with no license.
On Tuesday a study was released by Congress that provides dozens of different examples where illegal immigrants have been arrested for committing a crime, released, and then went on to commit more felony crimes, including that of murder.
This report was provided by the Congressional research service which is a nonpartisan group. During the study, CRS reviewed 46,734 illegal immigrant criminal cases. It was found that there were 142 crimes that were sexual in nature, 3 attempted murders, 19 murders, and a rash of other infractions committed by illegals who had been previously arrested and then released.
In response to this report, Rep. Lamar Smith, who is a Republican from Texas, and also chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, stated on Tuesday that “Pres. Obama’s reckless amnesty agenda is dangerous and deadly for Americans”.
The study showed that within a three-year period, 16% of illegal aliens who got picked up for a crime and let go were later arrested and booked for further crimes. All of this information came from data that the Obama administration turned over due to a subpoena by the Judiciary Committee.
It’s important to note however that this is a significantly lower recidivism rate than what the majority of the prison population has. According to a study done by the Pew Center, out of all of the prisoners that were released in 2004 across the nation, approximately 43% of those were rearrested and sent back to prison within three years. The numbers are a lot higher for the state of California, which experiences a recidivism rate of around 65% within three years after release.
Doris Meissner, who formerly worked for the US Immigration and Naturalization Service, but now serves at the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, as a senior fellow, stated that the illegal alien recidivism rate is “pretty modest…proportionally as compared with what happens in the criminal justice system in general”.
It needs to be noted that US immigration and customs enforcement officials have come out and stated plainly that none of the individuals who have been accused of murder within the report have actually been convicted of the crime. A plea of not guilty has been submitted by Ortiz.
The crime that Ortiz, 22, was charged for, consisted of the murder of one Danilo Morales, who while trying to assist his grandfather was shot in the head and killed outside of their Sun Valley home during a robbery.
In an attempt to defend his immigration policies, the Obama administration has put forth the argument that they are trying to use their limited budget in the best ways possible, and have stated that all illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a crime, or those who have been convicted of multiple immigration offenses, are immediately placed at the front of the list for deportation.
This is contrary to what the majority of the Republicans feel however, as they insist that every illegal immigrant who commits a crime should be sent back to their country of origin.
Rep. Smith, who has been consistently critical of how the Obama administration uses their own discretion on who they will and they won’t prosecute stated in summary that the President has effectively implemented a policy whereby illegal immigrants are being let loose into our local communities.
The focus of the study was to check the criminal records of individuals who were picked up by the police, fingerprinted, and whose identity was brought to the attention of ICE through the use of the Secure Communities information sharing program that has been the subject of much controversy. The study showed that between the dates of October 2008, and July 2011, as many as 46,734 illegal immigrants were booked, printed, and released before they were taken into custody by ICE.
The director of ICE, John Morton, stated in an interview that “the idea that somehow ICE is knowingly taking people into custody who are removable and then releasing them is simply false”. He went on to state that “I strongly refute the judiciary committee’s conclusions. It does a disservice to the facts.”
The reason Morton gave for these releases was that the majority of the cases consisted of arrests that were of significant distance from any ICE office, and in the other cases, the individual who was arrested had only committed a minor offense and was released from custody within an hour after arrest. With such a short turnaround time, you can see how difficult it can be for the ICE agents to respond to these calls in time.
He went on further to say that “ICE cannot have a manned presence in every single state, local and county lockup.”
According to Martin, the Secure Communities program is a large reason why the number of deportations of illegal immigrants convicted of a crime, and those who have repeatedly been caught for immigration violations has doubled between the years of 2008 and 2011. The numbers show that in 2008, 114,415 illegal immigrants were deported, and in 2011, 216,698 were deported. So despite what everybody might think about the Obama administration policies, the number of deportations have been increasing slightly each year since he took office.
Some police officials have been opposing the Secures Communities program, which effectively matches up an individual’s immigration record with the criminal database held by the FBI, due to the fact that they fear it is going to keep immigrants from helping out law-enforcement agencies by failing to report crimes.
Other experts within the field of immigration have found that the Secure Communities program is a large improvement over the system that was currently in place which entailed that ICE deputize police officers so that they were able to enforce laws regarding federal immigration.
Currently out of the 3181 jurisdictions with the United States, Secure Communities is used in 3074, so in effect 97% of local, state, and all tribal police agencies are making use of the system. The only states that are not currently implementing Secure Communities include Illinois, and Alabama.