U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-16) said a report released today by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) in cooperation with the House Judiciary Committee highlights the need for Congress to approve the "Criminal Alien Removal Act," legislation Rooney introduced that would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to deport illegal aliens who have been convicted of crimes.
According to the CRS report, 16 percent of illegal immigrants who were identified by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for committing crimes but not deported were rearrested on criminal charges within three years of their release.
"I am outraged by this report. We have people who come into this country illegally, get arrested for committing crimes, and then are allowed back into our communities to prey on our citizens -- that is unacceptable. If you're here illegally and you commit a crime, you should serve your sentence and then go back to your home country.
"The Department of Homeland Security has the authority to deport criminal, illegal immigrants, but under President Obama, the agency has repeatedly chosen not to do so. Congress should step up and require DHS to remove criminal aliens from this country after they have served their time."
According to the CRS report, 46,734 illegal immigrants were reported to ICE through the Secure Communities program after being arrested for criminal violations (not including violations of immigration law), but were not taken into ICE custody or deported. Of those, 7,283 were rearrested within three years. Their crimes included nearly 2,000 DUI, more than 1,400 drug violations, and more than 1,000 major criminal offenses and violent crimes, including 19 murders, three attempted murders, and 142 sex crimes.
Rooney's bill would require DHS to ensure that criminal aliens are removed from the United States upon release from incarceration.