The Obama administration released thousands of convicted criminals — including murderers and those convicted of sexual assault — while they were awaiting deportation proceedings, according to a new report.
The Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington-based advocacy group, released the statistics on Monday, in its latest bid to draw attention to what analysts with the organization say are lax enforcement practices by the Obama administration.
The numbers showed that in 2013, Immigration and Customs Enforcement released 36,007 “convicted criminal aliens” while they were waiting for the outcome of their deportation cases. They represented a total of 88,000 convictions.
The majority of the cases involved individuals convicted on lower-level or nonviolent offenses, like auto theft, drunk-driving and drug charges. But many were involved in more serious cases.
According to the report, the 88,000 convictions included:
— 193 homicide convictions
— 426 sexual assault convictions
— 303 kidnapping convictions
— More than 1,000 aggravated assault convictions
Jessica Vaughan, the group’s director of policy studies, said in a statement she was “astonished” by the figures. Referring to an ongoing Department of Homeland Security review of deportation policies, she said any “further relaxation of enforcement” would be “hard to justify” in light of the statistics.