Obama Administration And Republicans Clash Over Release Of 20K Undocumented Immigrants
The chief of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) revealed on Thursday at a congressional hearing that the agency released 19,723 undocumented immigrants in 2015 who had been convicted of crimes.
According to Reuters, angry Republicans grilled the top Obama administration immigration official Sarah Saldana, who defended her record and pleaded for comprehensive immigration reform:
“I cannot tell you how disheartening it is to sit here and hear a very important issue related to the topic of immigration reform be bandied about as a political football,” she said.
When undocumented immigrants have served their jail time but cannot be repatriated, immigration authorities have no choice but to release them, she said.
Only specific crimes require mandatory jailing of immigrants, Saldana said, adding that Congress should consider changing that policy.
Countries such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti and Guinea have refused to take back some of their citizens after they have been ordered deported from the United States, Saldana said.
Saldana said she is meeting with the State Department to persuade them to enforce visa restrictions on countries who do not take back their citizens.
I really hope this gets solved soon. Congress really needs to pass comprehensive immigration reform.