The Worst Prison Break in American History

Part of a pattern in immigration policy that undermines America’s own interests

United States President Barack Obama seems to pass up no opportunity to lavish illegal immigrants with high praise. “I’ve seen the courage of students … who bravely come out as undocumented in hopes they could make a difference in a country they love,” he said during a prime-time address to the nation last November, to take one example. “[T]hey did not come here in search of a free ride or an easy life. They came to work, and study, and serve in our military, and above all, contribute to America’s success.”

But the facts show that the president’s outreach to illegals is drawing many people into the nation who do not “contribute to America’s success.”

During the six years Mr. Obama has been in power, the Department of Homeland Security (dhs) has knowingly released some 195,900 criminally convicted illegal immigrants onto America’s streets. That averages out to about 85 convicted criminals released per day.

Putting Lives at Risk

Thousands of those released have been convicted of violent crimes such as homicide and aggravated assault. In 2013 alone, the releases included 193 convicted murderers, 303 convicted kidnappers, and 426 convicted of sexual assault. Others were convicted of child pornography charges, robbery, aggravated assault, and driving under the influence. More than half of those released have been convicted of multiple felonies. Many are known gang members or affiliates.

Also notable is that the vast majority of the releases were “discretionary,” meaning they were neither the result of local sanctuary guidelines nor required by local laws. In many cases, the releases were apparently in violation of law.

“As a law enforcement officer, I’m really disgusted with it,” said Neil Warren, the sheriff of Cobb County, Georgia, where several of the alien convicts were released.

Former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Republican Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, agrees with Warren’s assessment. He called the releases “the worst prison break in American history,” and said, “President Obama’s lax immigration policies have put the lives of Americans at risk.”

Such concerns have proven well founded. Each year, around 1,000 released convicts go on to commit other crimes against Americans in the communities where they settle. After being released into the public, one criminally convicted illegal alien went on to inflict injury on a domestic partner, commit child cruelty, violate his probation, drive without a license, and fail to appear in court.

A June 15 report said that altogether at least 121 of the released illegals have gone on to commit murders in America.

Is this individual—and others who have been released and go on to commit other crimes—contributing to America’s success?

Trying to Keep It on the DL

Unsurprisingly, the administration didn’t want the latest release numbers to be publicly known. But the extent to which it tried to obscure the truth is unnerving. Last year in May, the dhs failed to respond to a request under the Freedom of Information Act to disclose records about the releases. So the Judicial Watch group filed a lawsuit against the agency and a federal court ruled for the documents to be released.

“It’s appalling that we’ve had to sue in federal court to get key information about the Obama administration’s release of 165,950 convicted criminal aliens,” said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. (The figure he cited does not include another 30,000 released in the most recent fiscal year.)

To be fair, the policy of releasing convicted criminal aliens into America predates the Obama administration. When republicans such as George W. Bush have been in the presidency, they too have failed to repair U.S. immigration policies, apparently because they value cheap labor provided by illegals more than border control and security for Americans. However, it is telling that previous administrations never had to be sued in federal court before they would publish data about their criminal releases.

Fitton added: “These documents show the Obama administration is lying when it says that its ‘enforcement priorities’ include deporting illegal aliens who have committed heinous crimes.”

He then asked: “Where do the innocent victims of the illegal alien criminals this president’s appointees have set free go for justice?”

The mainstream media also orchestrated something very near to a blackout on the shocking story. Back on March 18, when the latest release figures were published, most major networks failed to mention them in their evening newscasts. That night, abc and cbs both spent time informing the country about President Obama’s completion of his bracket for the men’s ncaa basketball tournament. But regarding the thousands of convicts roaming the streets, both networks were out to lunch.

Why Not Deport Them?

The dhs agency responsible for immigration enforcement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ice), says it releases the criminal aliens because their home nations won’t take them back. Furthermore, American laws say some immigrants whose countries won’t allow them to return cannot be held indefinitely. Thus, officials insist, these individuals have to be released into society after a period of time.

Critics have called for rewriting such laws and have said the Obama administration should use its authority to deny visas to leaders of nations refusing to let their citizens return, or otherwise pressure them. But the administration has taken no such measures, and continues to release staggering numbers of criminal convicts onto American streets each year.

The message this policy sends to other nations is that they can be rid of problem citizens by pushing them into the warm embrace of the United States. The message it sends to convicts wanting to immigrate to the U.S. is that going through legal channels is a waste of time; instead, hop the border and enjoy a fresh start—comparatively hassle free.

Part of a Pattern

This trend fits a broader pattern of the Obama administration’s espousal of immigration policies that undermine America’s own interests.

Besides the criminal-convict illegal aliens the dhs has released, the agency has also politely asked more than 700,000 “noncriminal” illegal aliens to self-deport from the United States. (The word noncriminal is relative, considering that just to get inside the U.S., these individuals have broken American immigration laws.) After such individuals are released from custody, nothing prevents them from circulating around the U.S. Judicial Watch says this is precisely what most do.

The administration delivered another major blow to law enforcement in 2013 when it issued a set of directives to ice agents called “prosecutorial discretion.” The measures put broad categories of illegal aliens off limits to them, forcing ice to avoid or discontinue deportation action in thousands of cases. In many cases, the aliens had been convicted of crimes.

Recent revelations also show that from October 2013 to October 2014, the Obama administration sent home fewer than 1 percent of the 12 million illegals living in the United States.

In November, President Obama moved to grant legal status and work permits to nearly 5 million illegal immigrants. A series of legal setbacks has halted this plan so far, but some analysts believe it’s only a matter of time until it passes. His decision to push this move by executive action—rather than through Congress—prompted House Speaker John Boehner to accuse the president of acting like an “emperor.”

Goal: A Weaker, Less Traditional U.S.

The vast majority of Americans recognize the danger of the country’s broken immigration policy. A poll published on May 4 showed that 77 percent now consider illegal immigration a “serious problem”; 63 percent say it is so serious that the U.S. military should be deployed along the Mexican border to prevent its continuation.

But the administration consistently ignores such polls and forges ahead implementing policies that favor illegals over citizens. Recognition of this prompted Sen. Jeff Sessions to say, “Immigration enforcement has been destroyed by this president.”

Some critics believe the Obama administration’s egregious immigration policies are designed to increase the supply of Democratic voters. This theory says the policies are engineered to change America from a country in which voters choose their leaders into one in which leaders choose their voters.

Perhaps that is part of the calculus. But the motivation could be deeper and even more anti-American. President Obama’s track record both in word and deed reveals resentment toward what might be called “traditional” America. He has made no effort to conceal his disapproval of America’s colonial legacy or to hide his anti-imperialist agenda. Could his desire to conclusively end the era of U.S. global hegemony be driving him to use his remaining time in office to weaken the nation? Whatever his intent, it is clear that releasing convicts onto the streets of America and his other immigration policies certainly do weaken the nation.

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