Sun | Jan 21, 2018

DHS released nearly 20,000 criminal immigrants last year

Published:Friday | May 13, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Jean Jacques listens to an interpreter through his headsets as Norwich Police Detective Anthony Gomes testifies during Jacques' murder trial at New London Superior Court in New London.


The United States (US) tried repeatedly to deport Jean Jacques, an immigrant living in the country illegally, but his native Haiti would not take him back after he served more than a decade in a state prison for attempted murder and multiple parole violations.

Each time Jacques was arrested on a parole violation, he would serve a sentence in state prison and then be released to immigration custody. At least three times, Haiti refused to take him back, so Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in early 2015 did the same thing they do thousands of times a year, they released a violent criminal immigrant from jail.

Six months later, Jacques killed Casey Chadwick, a young Norwich, Connecticut, woman. He was convicted of murder last April and faces sentencing this summer.

Jacques is a textbook example of the kind of immigrant living in the US illegally that the Obama administration says should be returned to his home country.

But that is easier said than done.

Jacques' release and that of more than 19,700 convicted criminal immigrants during the 2015 budget year reveal yet another complication in the country's complex immigration system. ICE has released tens of thousands of convicted criminals. Combined, those people have been convicted of hundreds of thousands of crimes, including murder and sexual assault.