Obama’s trick or treat: 6,000 convicts go free

By Leo Hohmann

Criminal illegal aliens.
Criminal illegal aliens

As part of a mass prisoner release of convicted drug felons ordered by a restructuring of federal sentencing guidelines, as many as 2,000 illegal aliens are about to be released back onto U.S. streets.

The federal sentencing rules for drug crimes were quietly rewritten in 2014 by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Among the first wave of 6,000 convicted drug felons to be released by Nov. 1 are at least 2,000 foreign nationals, according to the Sentencing Commission.

And these are not petty criminals, say critics in law enforcement. Many are violent drug overlords with lengthy rap sheets.

All were convicted of serious drug crimes, such as trafficking in heroin, methamphetamine or cocaine. Many were repeat offenders, and some used guns in the course of their drug crimes.

All told, the Wall Street Journal has estimated that as many as 40,000 convicts could ultimately be released under the new guidelines. The Journal cites officials who say about one-third of those being released are illegal aliens.

The Marshall Project has done a profile analysis of these prisoners based on federal data and projects the ultimate number of releases higher at 46,000, but estimates the number of aliens lower, at 25 percent. They are mostly black and Hispanic men with an average age of 30.

“Assuming accurate figures fall somewhere within the Marshall Project and Wall Street Journal projections, this means that between 11,500 and 13,200 serious alien drug offenders will soon be out of lockdown,” writes Dan Cadman, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies.

The Washington Post called it “the largest one-time federal release” of prisoners on record.

The breakdown of drug crimes committed by those scheduled for release by Nov. 1.
The breakdown of drug crimes committed by those scheduled for release by Nov. 1.

Since 2013, the Obama administration has freed more than 76,000 convicted criminal aliens while in deportation proceedings, resulting in an uncounted toll of new crimes, Cadman said.

Three Republican senators led by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson seeking information on the prisoner release, including what steps are being taken to ensure their speedy deportation and whether they will be detained pending exit from the prison system.

“There is plenty of reason to suspect that this administration, which has of its own volition released tens of thousands of alien criminals from immigration detention centers for reasons having nothing to do with sentencing ‘reform,’ will not take seriously its obligation to protect public safety with this group either,” Cadman writes.

William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration, or ALIPAC, said the massive prisoner release is consistent with the administration’s history of disrespect for Americans while giving illegal immigrants every benefit and multiple chances to avoid incarceration.

illegal criminals“The Obama administration has already released thousands of violent criminals back onto American streets without deportation, and we know that is one of the many driving forces behind the thousands of Americans being killed every year due to the non-enforcement of our existing immigration and border laws,” he said.

The death of 32-year-old Kate Steinle, who was gunned down by an illegal criminal immigrant while out strolling with her family in San Francisco on July 1, brought the issue of violent immigrant offenders being harbored by “sanctuary cities” into the national spotlight. But American blood had been spilling for years at the hands of illegals with scant media coverage until Donald Trump seized on the issue and made it newsworthy, Gheen said.

“When you take an illegal alien that has already been through our criminal courts and then release them back onto the streets, its criminal, it’s treasonous, and it’s killing our citizens and it’s sending a message to the other illegals that they will not be held accountable for their actions,” he told WND. “Our own government is funding and helping illegals in every way it can, and the costs in terms of life, limbs and treasure are astronomical.”

The new rules were formulated by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which Congress created as an independent agency in 1984. The commission’s seven voting members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, and they serve six-year terms.

“Why didn’t someone consider the likelihood that thousands of alien prisoners in federal prisons would be affected, and ensure that the statutory sentencing amendments of 2014 wove a web tight enough to virtually guarantee that the only possible outcomes for those released would be deportation or return to their cells?” Cadman writes. “That this didn’t happen implies a certain, shall we charitably say, lack of foresight.

New bill could mean ‘thousands more’ released

Last week, a bipartisan group in Congress announced legislation that would result in the release of thousands more federal inmates.

“Perhaps our Congress could be forgiven this myopic lapse – after all, to err is human – but to repeat the same mistake suggests a descent into mulish stupidity,” Cadman continues. “Yet even as senators write letters of concern to the AG and DHS secretary, the Judiciary Committee is poised to take up a bill that goes down the same path.

Cadman is referring to S.2123, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, sponsored by Grassley.

There are a number of provisions in the bill that will lead to shortening the sentences of illegal aliens serving time in federal prisons, Cadman said.

Section 101, for example, proposes to reduce the mandatory minimum sentences that must be imposed on repeat offenders convicted of trafficking, manufacturing or distributing substantial amounts of narcotics, and even for trafficking illegal drugs into the United States from abroad.

Section 103 establishes exceptions to sentencing guidelines for defendants “whose role was limited to transporting drugs or money at the direction or others.”

That describes virtually every illegal alien “mule” who hikes across the border with bundles of marijuana, heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine strapped to his back, Cadman said.

“One can think of few ways to better undermine our already uncertain border security on the frontier with Mexico – which is fraught with cartel-related drug violence – than to mitigate the penalties for such cross-border criminal activities,” he writes.

Juvenile provisions to aid gangs?

Courts, under this bill, would also be required to seal the records of juvenile drug offenders, putting those records outside the reach of immigration officers. The bill also requires the AG to seek expungement of juveniles’ records of offenders who commit crimes prior to their 15th birthday once those offenders reach their 18th birthday.

“These two provisions guarantee that immigration officers will not be able to obtain certified records of conviction – which is exactly the evidence they need to present in deportation proceedings against 16- and 17-year-old members of MS-13 and other gangs,” Cadman said.

Even more shocking, this bill shortens the sentence for “stacked” gun offenses in which the individual is also charged with illegally possessing or using a firearm to effect the crime, often drug trafficking, from 25 down to 15 years.

“At a time when debate rages in the country about whether law-abiding gun owners should face more onerous registration and permitting laws, criminals who have been convicted of using guns in their unlawful activities will receive reduced sentences,” according to Cadman. “Thus, under this bill, an illegal alien who traffics narcotics across the international border, and carries a firearm to do it, will benefit from the reduction in sentences.”

The bill also would place new emphasis on rehabilitative programs to “promote successful re-entry” into society. The bill requires a re-entry review team for each prisoner, which includes aliens, and requires judges to consider the use of community correctional facilities and home confinement, and steps to assist the prisoner in obtaining health care, housing and employment prerelease.

“Those may be laudable goals where native-born prisoners are concerned, but are they really appropriate for alien felons?” Cadman asks. “Should not our goal be removal of such aliens, not reentry into society? What a waste of scarce federal dollars that would otherwise be spent on incarcerated citizens who do, in fact, need to find their way out of a life of crime.”

Bill placed on fast track

Rather than a cautious, thorough review, the bill appears to be on a fast track, Cadman said.

“There are some indications that it is being given the same kind of helter-skelter rush to pass that the disastrous Trans-Pacific trade and Iran sanctions bills received,” he said.

Meanwhile, Democrats have indicated they intend to filibuster the anti-sanctuary bill introduced by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., which Cadman said would do much to restore public confidence in the criminal justice systems, particularly where illegal alien criminals are concerned.

“The Republican-led Senate seems content to accept that course of action, knowing it will dead-end the bill, even as they press forward with dubious sentencing reforms,” Cadman said.

“This disparity in treatment of the two bills is shocking, and I am at a loss to understand the reason for it.”

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