Just before the March 1 sequester, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) freed illegal-alien detainees from federal custody. These were just “low-level, noncriminal detainees,” White House spokesman Jay Carney reassured the American people. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said of these inmates, “Several hundred are related to sequester, but it wasn’t thousands.”
Like so many Obamite statements, however, these announcements now are inoperative.
“Without explanation or warning,” Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., announced May 16, ICE “released from custody 2,226 detainees into communities across the country.” Among them were “622 detainees with criminal records, including 32 with multiple felony convictions.” As detailed in a May 6 letter from just-departed DHS official Nelson Peacock, these 32 serial felons are Level 1, or highest-risk detainees. ICE also emancipated another 80 Level 2 detainees.
Meet a few of the illegal aliens with rap sheets whom Team Obama flung onto America’s streets:
• ICE’s Phoenix office released a detainee convicted of felony second-degree robbery and, according to McCain and Levin, “countless convictions” for prostitution and solicitation for lewd conduct.
• ICE Phoenix liberated one person convicted of harassment, criminal property damage, and “an extreme case of driving under the influence.”
• Also, in Phoenix, ICE unchained an individual convicted of trespassing, vandalism, second-degree burglary, felony drug possession, DUI with a controlled substance and carrying a loaded firearm.
• ICE San Francisco freed someone with a felony conviction for manufacturing bogus identifications.
• Also in San Francisco, one detainee walked, despite two DUI and two stalking convictions — the second from 2012.
• ICE Houston unshackled someone convicted of felony possession of up to 2,000 pounds of marijuana.
After it unlocked these jail cells, DHS realized its folly. It then re-arrested 24 of these 32 felons. The other eight presumably are free. The remaining detainees, DHS claims, are on supervised release. Of course, nothing prevents these aliens from fleeing north into a neighborhood near you.
This episode follows the same playbook as the other scandals in which the Obama administration is ensnaring itself.
First, deny knowledge about the controversy.
Napolitano claimed to know nothing about this massive prisoner release until it happened. “Detainee populations and how that is managed back and forth is (sic) really handled by career officials in the field,” Napolitano told ABC News. She seemingly learned about all of this where Obama gets his inside information: newspapers.
“It still is extremely puzzling that, apparently, the Secretary of Homeland Security said she didn’t know anything about the decision,” said an astonished McCain. “Isn’t she supposed to?”
Gov. Jan Brewer, R-Ariz., asked DHS for the criminal backgrounds of these freed detainees. She still awaits DHS’ reply.
“The administration’s actions in releasing thousands of criminal aliens were appalling,” Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson told the Arizona Republic. “But just as appalling is its continued stonewalling of critical information sought by elected leaders like Gov. Brewer.”
McCain and Levin complained that they received specifics from DHS only “after a three month delay and under threat of a possible subpoena.”
Third, avoid accountability.
“As far as we know, no disciplinary action has been taken against the ICE officials who were responsible for the action,” McCain said. Those who improperly freed 2,226 detainees never budged from their desks, nor has hardly anyone involved with the corruption at the IRS; the Justice Department’s frightful treatment of The Associated Press, at least three Fox News journalists, and possibly reporter Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News; and the deadly incompetence and appalling cover-up related to al-Qaida’s fatal attack in Benghazi.
Team Obama argues that the sequester’s budget cuts forced ICE’s hand. However, these detainees waltzed out of their cells before the sequester kicked in.
Unfortunately, ICE moved too quickly for Congress to prevent these idiotic and potentially deadly releases. If any of these 2,226 freed detainees hurts or kills an American, that citizen’s blood will soak Obama’s suit.