But Democrats say ‘hateful rhetoric’ from GOP is what really matters.
Under President Obama’s lax enforcement, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released almost 20,000 criminal illegal aliens back onto American streets in 2015, figures released by the agency show.
The figures were released to Congress ahead of Thursday morning’s House Oversight Committee hearing on illegal alien crime. They revealed that 19,723 criminal illegal aliens who committed a total of 64,197 crimes between them — including over 200 homicides — were released back into society by ICE to wreak havoc on law-abiding Americans.
Thursday’s hearing was meant to provide the House Oversight Committee the opportunity explore the origins of such shocking statistics, but was quickly hijacked by Democrats seeking to score political points by insinuating Republicans’ main interest in the issue is driven by anti-Hispanic racism. “It’s crucial we listen” to victim testimony and experts, claimed committee member Rep. Elijah Cummings in his opening statement, but “what I absolutely do not support is the [Republicans’] hateful rhetoric.”
Cummings then launched into a minutes long monologue full of hateful rhetoric about Donald Trump. “I will not sit silently as some try” to create “racial division to divide our country,” said Cummings — who also happened to author an article titled “Enacting ‘Black Lives Matter’ into Law” for a website called Afro.com in 2015.
House delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, not wishing to be outdone by Cummings, launched her own anti-Trump diatribe and seemed to suggest that ICE should prioritize not hurting Hispanics’ feelings over ensuring criminal illegal aliens are deported. “How you do law enforcement when the rhetoric is steeped in racial overtones?” she asked ICE director Sarah SaldaÃ±a.
SaldaÃ±a herself was little better, spending her entire testimony equivocating, trying to pass blame onto any other government agency or entity other than her own. ICE does “not go around trying to put criminals on the street,” she claimed, insisting that her agency is only operating “under a system Congress has provided.”
Saldana claimed that “over two-thirds of the criminal releases [in 2015] were as a result of the Supreme Court telling us we had to release someone or immigration courts saying it,” but was quickly reminded by committee chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz that the very numbers provided to the committee by ICE said that the agency’s own discretionary releases accounted for 54 percent of releases in 2015.
“I feel very strongly every time someone is injured or murdered by any person,” said SaldaÃ±a, who also said she personally remains “committed to implementing ICE’s priorities in a smart and strategic manner.” But SaldaÃ±a’s words were surely of little comfort to Wendy Hartling or Scott Root, both of whom had children killed by criminal illegal aliens and were present at the hearing to give testimony.
Hartling’s daughter was brutally murdered by a Haitian illegal immigrant named Jean Jacques who had already served time for attempted murder — but was never deported. “According to laws passed by Congress, Jacques should have been deported,” Hartling said. “ICE had him in custody and detention three times. Tragically, ICE released him three times and he killed Casey just a few months after his last release by ICE.”
“The tragedy of Casey’s death is not an isolated case and is occurring frighteningly often around the country,” said Hartling. “I would never want any family to have to go through this. The pain is always with me. My heart is broken.”