House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) issued the following statement in response to a media report regarding immigrant criminals who cannot be deported being released into American communities. According to the report, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency has released nearly 1,800 dangerous immigrant criminals since 2008 because of a Supreme Court ruling.
In the 2001 decision of Zadvydas v. Davis, the Supreme Court ruled that under current law, immigrants who had been admitted to the U.S. and then ordered removed could not be detained for more than six months. In the 2005 case Clark v. Martinez, the Supreme Court expanded its decision in Zadvydas to apply to non-admitted immigrants. The problem with both of these rulings is that not every immigrant criminal who is ordered removed can be because of the unwillingness of some countries to issue travel documents necessary for repatriation. As a result, thousands of immigrant criminals with final orders of removal are released to our streets.
Chairman Smith: "It is outrageous that thousands of dangerous immigrant criminals have been released to our streets. Just because a criminal immigrant cannot be returned to their home country does not mean they should be freed into our communities. Immigrant criminals should be detained and deported.
"The House Judiciary Committee plans to hold hearings to close loopholes in our laws that facilitate this dangerous problem. The Department of Homeland Security should have the authority to do its job of making our country safer. There is no excuse for placing American lives at risk."