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Senator says there are 242,772 illegal aliens in U.S. whose countries won’t take them back

handcuffed_dudeWASHINGTON, D.C. – There are nearly one million aliens in the United States who have final orders of removal—nearly a quarter of whom are from countries that refuse to accept, or that delay the acceptance of, their nationals after they have been ordered removed from the United States. And they are being released into our communities every day, says Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, whose career is on the fast-track.

Sessions says that according to data provided to the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as of June 25, 2016, there were 953,806 aliens in the United States with outstanding orders of removal, 182,761 of whom were convicted of crimes in the United States. Of the 953,806 aliens who have final orders of removal, 242,772 come from countries that refuse to take back their nationals after they receive final removal orders, with 123,098 coming from the 23 countries that ICE deems to be “recalcitrant,” and 119,674 from the 62 countries that ICE deems to be otherwise uncooperative. Of the 242,772, 57,029 were convicted of criminal offenses, or roughly 30 percent of the criminal aliens with removal orders in the United States—including 28,733 from Cuba, 7,705 from Vietnam, 2,140 from Haiti, and 1,848 from China.

Although Congress provided a remedy in section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for the Departments of Homeland Security and State to take action against these countries—and leaders of the Departments of Homeland Security and State have known about these issues for years—the United States has long allowed these countries to flout their legal obligations with little or no repercussions. These refusals undermine American immigration law, cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars, and place American citizens at risk of criminal violence and fraud.

For example, in 2012, ICE released an alien who had completed his sentence for attempted murder instead of deporting him to Haiti, because Haiti refused to accept him. In 2015, the same alien stabbed 25-year-old Casey Chadwick of Norwich, Connecticut, before stuffing her body in a closet.  In 2013, an alien who should have been deported to Cambodia in 2009, but was instead released from ICE custody, molested a child that he picked up from a school without authorization.  And in 2010, an alien who should have been deported to Jamaica, but was instead released, broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home and stabbed her and a friend as her children slept nearby.

Further, 95 of these dangerous criminal aliens were recently released early from federal prison, due to retroactive sentence reductions, and not deported, including:

  • A Cuban national with convictions for burglary, drug trafficking, and sex offenses, who was released in Florida;
  • A Cuban national with convictions for eight counts of assault and aggravated assault, along with convictions for battery, selling cocaine, six counts of larceny, and four additional charges related to stolen property, who was released in Texas;
  • A Laotian national with convictions for burglary, drug trafficking, homicide, and sexual assault, who was released in California; and,
  • A Syrian national with convictions for selling cocaine and possession of a weapon, who was released in Illinois.

Against this backdrop, in October, the Obama Administration finally acknowledged its legal obligations with respect to the repatriation of aliens, and directed the imposition of minor visa sanctions against the small African country of The Gambia. There are 1,268 Gambian nationals in the United States with final orders of removal—or less than 1 percent of the number of aliens from countries that fail to fully cooperate with the repatriation of their nationals. Pursuant to these sanctions, the Department of State will no longer issue visas to employees of the Gambian government, employees of certain entities associated with the government, and their spouses and children. These sanctions are mild, and it is likely that the State Department will have to take stronger actions to get results.

Breaking news Friday is that Sessions has been selected by President-elect Donald Trump as the new Attorney General.

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