(CNSNews.com) -- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) underreported 13,288 criminal convictions of aliens who were released by the agency in 2014, according to new information released Tuesday by the House Judiciary Committee.
“The Obama Administration’s record of releasing criminal aliens has gone from bad to worse,” Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) said in a statement, adding that “there’s no excuse for this large discrepancy.”
“We already know that the Obama Administration’s refusal to detain and remove tens of thousands of criminal aliens poses dangers to American communities and the rule of law, and now we know that the Administration has not been straightforward with Congress about how hazardous its policies truly are,” Goodlatte said.
In April 2015, ICE reported that in fiscal year 2014, it released 30,558 criminal aliens who were convicted of 79,059 crimes, including: 86 homicides, 186 kidnappings, 373 sexual assaults, 1,346 convictions for domestic violence, 1,589 weapons violations, 2,372 assaults, and 13,636 drunk driving offenses.
However, in April 2016, in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), ICE reported that those same 30,588 criminal aliens had actually been convicted of 92,347 crimes in 2014 - 13,288 more convictions than ICE reported last year.
“What is particularly troubling is that the data provided to IRLI was captured by ICE in March 2015, prior to ICE representing to the Committee that these criminal aliens had only 79,059 convictions,” Goodlatte wrote in a June 21 letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson demanding more transparency.
“Despite subsequent appearances before congressional committees, neither you, nor the [ICE] Director has ever attempted to correct this troubling underreporting of criminal activity to Congress,” the letter continued.
According to the latest figures, ICE underreported 17 percent of criminal aliens' 2014 convictions for homicide, robbery (22 percent), sexual assault (27 percent), and driving under the influence (10 percent) among others, the chairman stated,
“This disparity demonstrates that these criminal aliens are even more of a threat to public safety than ICE represented to the Committee, and it raises serious questions about whether ICE knowingly misled Congress and the American public concerning the true extent of their danger,” Goodlatte continued,
“Secretary Johnson and [ICE] Director [Sarah] Saldaña owe the American public answers about why ICE was not forthcoming about this information, and I intend to pursue this matter until we get answers,” Goodlatte stated.