We are repeatedly told enforcing immigration law is actually a bad idea because it takes resources away from tracking truly dangerous criminals. And then comes today's report:
Most of the illegal immigrant criminals Homeland Security officials released from custody last year were discretionary, meaning the department could have kept them in detention but chose instead to let them onto the streets as their deportation cases moved through the system, according to new numbers from Congress.Some of those released were the worst of the worst — more than 3,700 “Threat Level 1” criminals, who are deemed the top priority for deportation, were still released out into the community even as they waited for their immigration cases to be heard.Homeland Security officials have implied their hands are tied by court rulings in many cases, but the numbers, obtained by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, showed 57 percent of the criminals released were by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s own choice, and they could have been kept instead.[3, 700 Illegal Immigrant "Threat Level 1" criminals released into U.S. by DHS, by Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, June 4, 2015]
Goodlatte has a decidedly mixed record when it comes to immigration patriotism
, so it is good to see him actually taking initiative on this. But the greater significance of all of this is that it shows the lie about "national security" rhetoric.
Even now, many Republicans are trying to make national security an issue in the 2016 Presidential campaign. A "strong" foreign policy is the core proposal of candidates like Lindsey Graham
or Marco Rubio. Yet these same candidates the ones who are utterly determined to make sure America never enforces its immigration laws.
With so many candidates joining the 2016 Republican primary (Rick Perry officially joined the race today), we can hope someone will ask the obvious question. What is the point of talking about national security, or even having a Defense Department, if the very people in charge of "Homeland Security" are releasing known threats onto American streets?