‘Catch and Release’ Scheme for Criminal Aliens an Insane ICE Policy

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website posted an important news release on June 21, 2011. This press release reported on the arrest of more than 2,400 criminal aliens (aliens who have been convicted of committing felonies and serious crimes in the United States. These arrests reportedly took place in all 50 states.

While there are many areas in which ICE fails to live up to is responsibilities to effectively enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States, there is no denying that these arrests are significant and those enforcement personnel who conducted these field operations have rendered our country and the communities in whihc these arrests took place, a vital service in terms of enhancing the safety of those who live and work within those communities.

This news release, that is attached below, give rise to a serious and obvious question- how did these criminal aliens managed to make their way back out onto the streets of the communities in which they were arrested. If they were in custody in a jail, for example, why were they not simply taken into custody by ICE before they were released?

This is an important question and the wording of this excerpt from the news release makes it clear that there are serious problems with the way that ICE conducts buisness:

In May, ICE officers from all 24 ICE Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) field offices throughout the nation located and arrested more than 2,400 aliens with prior criminal convictions in all 50 states. All of the criminal aliens taken into custody had prior convictions for crimes such as armed robbery, drug trafficking, child abuse, sexual crimes against minors, aggravated assault, theft, forgery and DUI. In total, 22% of the individuals ICE officers took into custody were immigration fugitives-convicted criminal aliens with outstanding orders of deportation who had failed to leave the country.

In point of fact, the statement was made that 22% of the individuals ICE officers took into custody were immigration fugitives- convicted criminal aliens with outstanding orders of deportation who failed to leave the country.

Think about what that very disturbing sentence was really saying- apparently these aliens who were arrested had been served with documents ordering them to depart from the United States and, surprise, surprise! They simply failed to depart from the United States as ordered!

Don’t you just love the passive voice! These criminals failed to depart? How about making it clear that ICE failed to force them to depart? That is what deportation is supposed to be about!

This means that ICE must have had them in custody and then turned them loose only to have to go look for them when they absconded!

There is a succinct word for this- DUMB!

There is a wonderful saying that there is no honor among thieves! I can assure that there is no honor among those who would violate our immigration laws and our criminal laws and commit serious crimes, often crimes that hurt innocent victims. Should anyone really be surprised that such criminals would fail to live up to their lawful obligations?

Incidentally, if you do the math, 22% of 2,400 criminal aliens works out to 528 criminal aliens who were found at large after they were released.

Why on earth were they released?

You have to wonder if any more people were injured or even, perhaps killed by any of these 528 criminal aliens who owed their freedom to ICE before they were re-arrested.

You also have to wonder how many more such fugitives are still “out there” in communities in every state of our nation who had been in custody and then released with the supposed expectation that they would, of their own volition, leave the United States? It is likely that there are tens of thousands of such criminal aliens who are at large across our nation, because of this insane policy that is simply another version of the program known as “Catch & Release!”

Einstein once wisely observed that insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Yet it is unlikely that ICE will modify the way it does business and simply take aliens who have been ordered deported (removed) and physically take them to the airport on put them on airplanes for their trips back to their home countries. That would apparently require commonsense- a commodity that is in obvious short supply!

Next point to consider- the fact is that many of these aliens who were at large apparently re-entered the United States after they were deported (removed) from the United States. If they could easily re-enter the United States in such large numbers, then it is clear that notwithstanding Janet Napolitano’s claims that the borders are more secure than ever that they are not secure enough!

Of course her boss, President Obama, might not agree on this point, lets not forget what he said on Tuesday, May 10th when he delivered a speech in El Paso, Texas to once again, push for “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”

Here is a link to a You Tube video of a portion of what Obama had to say:

“Alligators in the Moat”: Obama Mocks Concerns About Border Security:


Wasn’t it amazing to hear the President proclaim that the fence is essential completed?

Perhaps he should develop a new campaign slogan, “Don’t confuse me with the facts!”

Recently New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo withdrew New York from the Secure Communities Program that is supposed to identify criminal aliens in prisons and provide notification to ICE that they are in custody so that with a minimum of effort and expenditure of resources, these aliens can be expeditiously handed over to ICE for removal from the United States if should action is warranted.

Cuomo and other “leaders” like him have bemoaned the fact that if the United States deports criminal aliens that they would be ostensibly separated from their families in the United States.

Please check out this sentence from the news release:

A 32-year-old man residing in Amesbury, Mass., from the Dominican Republic, who is a registered sex offender convicted of assault, battery on a household member, indecent assault, battery on a child, and leaving the scene/person injured.

I bet that this miscreant’s family can’t wait for him to join them at their dinner table! NOT!

The point is that often the victims of crimes committed by criminal aliens are the members of the immigrant communities whose residents come from the same part of the world as do the criminal aliens no matter their nationalities. It is not anti-immigrant to seek to enforce the immigration laws- it is commonsense!

The politicians who create “Sanctuary” cities and states for illegal aliens are literally playing politics with national security and the lives of those who live and work within their jurisdictions. What sane person could possibly think that it is not important to remove criminal aliens from our midst when the law provides such a simple remedy for this serious problem that threatens the safety and security of our citizens and our nation?

As I have noted on ever so many other occasions, the difference between an immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar!

The securing of our nation’s borders and the effective enforcement and administration of our nation’s immigration laws are, arguably, among the most important of all missions that are supposed to be carried out by our federal government.

Nothing less than the security of our nation and safety of our citizens hang in the balance!

A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

The practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.

I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world. However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels or members of other transnational gangs or members of al-Qaeda!

If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!

All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!

We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.

This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!

You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!

Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

Additionally- this summer, on Friday afternoons from 4:00 PM until 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time, I will be filling in for Tom Garcia as the host on The USA Talk Radio Network’s excellent radio show, “The American Hour.”

I hope you will be joining my cohost, Paula Lauzon Ostman and me, on Fridays this summer!

Here is the link for this program:


ICE arrests over 2,400 convicted criminal aliens, fugitives in enforcement operation throughout all 50 states

Michael Cutler
Michael Cutler, a former Senior INS Investigator, an expert witness in more than a dozen Congressional Hearings is a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and an advisor to the '911 Families for a Secure America.' He writes about the nexus between immigration and national security.