Press Releases

Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Carl Levin (D-MI) today sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson seeking additional information on the release of 2,226 detainees by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and inquiring whether ICE or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has taken any actions to ensure accountability.

 

The letter is attached and below.

 

March 13, 2014

 

The Honorable Jeh Johnson

Secretary of Homeland Security

U. S. Department of Homeland Security

Nebraska Avenue Complex

3801 Nebraska Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C.   20528

 

Dear Secretary Johnson:

Nearly one year ago, we wrote to Secretary Napolitano requesting information on the release of illegal aliens detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”).  Through that request, we learned that of the 2,226 detainees released by ICE in February 2013, 622 had criminal records.  ICE provided information about the criminal records, without names, of 32 detainees with multiple felony convictions (Level One offenders), 24 of whom were subsequently redetained.  We write today to seek additional information on last year’s detainee release and inquire whether ICE or the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has taken any actions to ensure accountability for what occurred. 

Because of the ongoing threat detainees with multiple felony convictions might pose to the public, it is important that we obtain clear and current information.  With that in mind, please provide answers to the following questions by no later than April 3, 2014:

1.         Were any ICE or DHS officials disciplined for the decision to release dangerous detainees in February 2013?  Please detail any administrative actions taken.

2.         Were any additional detainees with criminal records released since February 2013 because of sequestration or other budget concerns?  If so, how many detainees were released and what crimes had they committed?

3.         Of the 622 detainees with criminal records released in February 2013, please confirm the number of those detainees that were Level One or Level Two offenders.  Of those Level One and Level Two offenders, how many have been returned to law enforcement custody due to a new conviction or arrest following their release in February 2013?  Please describe the circumstances under which they were redetained, including a breakdown of any new convictions or arrests.

4.         According to a recent Arizona Republic article, there have been discrepancies in the information released to lawmakers, including how many Level One detainees had been released and subsequently redetained.  Given the discrepancy between the numbers provided to House Judiciary Chairman Goodlatte by ICE and to our offices by DHS, please confirm the number of Level One offender detainees that ICE did in fact release in February 2013.  Please provide an explanation for any discrepancies in the information provided to our offices and Chairman Goodlatte’s.

5.         What were the names of the 2,226 detainees released?  Please note who the Level One and Level Two offenders were and where they are currently.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.  If you have any questions or concerns, please have your staff contact Jack Thorlin (Senator McCain) at 202/224-XXXX or Dan Goshorn (Senator Levin) at 202/224-XXXX. 

 

Sincerely,

 

John McCain                                                              

Ranking Minority Member                                        

Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations              

 

Carl Levin

Chairman

Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

 

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