Stewart to ask Congress to subpoena ICE
The chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors said Thursday that he will ask Congress to subpoena Immigration and Customs Enforcement to obtain records on how many illegal immigrants have been released from their custody back into the community.
Chairman Corey A. Stewart said his action was prompted by the drunk-driving accident Sunday in Bristow in which Carlos A. Martinelly-Montano, who entered the United States illegally as a child, hit a car carrying three nuns. One was killed the two others seriously injured. Martinelly-Montano had two prior drunken driving incidents, for which he served 20 days in jail. He was also detained by ICE after a drunken driving arrest in 2008. Montano was released on his own recognizance pending a deportation hearing.
“The Obama administration should be embarrassed,” Stewart said. “They knew all along criminal illegal aliens were being released back into the neighborhoods. It is going to be tremendously embarrassing when people see not just the guys convicted of DUIs, but the men who have been convicted of taking indecent liberties with children and other disgusting offenses that ICE did not deport.”
Stewart, who appeared on CNN on Thursday to announce his plan, said county officials have tried for years to get ICE to release the data. ICE officials, Stewart said, have been “stiff-arming us.”
The religious order that was home to the three nuns whose car was hit Sunday morning said it is upset at what it views as the politicization of the accident. Sister Glenna Smith, a spokeswoman for the Benedictine Sisters, said the order was "dismayed" by the attention to Montano's immigration status. The nuns have offered forgiveness to Montano through his family.
Stewart said he is interested in individuals being released in Prince William, specifically the ones ICE has “taken into custody” from the local jail and then sent back to the county.
He said he plans to testify on Capitol Hill and make his case of why this information should be released. He said it is “appalling” that local law enforcement officials do their job of apprehending and turning illegal immigrants over to ICE, only to find them being released back into the county.
Stewart said earlier in the week that immigration officials aren’t “evil” – it’s just that they don’t have the resources to do their job. He said Congress has refused to properly fund or staff immigration enforcement efforts.
According to statistics compiled by Syracuse University, there are 243,000 cases that are clogging immigration courts. Because of the backlog, it takes 15 months to conclude the average case. Martinelly-Montano's has dragged on for nearly two years.
“When the public understands and Congress understands these people are being released back into the community, maybe then Congress will get [ICE] the funds” it needs, Stewart said.
-- Jennifer Buske
Washington Post editors
| August 5, 2010; 11:23 AM ET
Categories: Crime and Public Safety, Virginia
Save & Share: Previous: Port-a-pottie reprieve in Montgomery
Next: Two more heat-related deaths in Md.
Posted by: pxl4 | August 5, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: checkered1 | August 5, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Redial1 | August 5, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: TooManyPeople | August 5, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Bull_Run | August 5, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: StLou | August 5, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.