Prince William chairman asks Congress to release immigration records
The chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors said Thursday he will ask Congress to subpoena Immigration and Customs Enforcement to obtain the records on how many illegal immigrants have been released back into the community.
Chairman Corey A. Stewart said his action was prompted by the recent fatal car collision in Bristow. Police say Carlos A. Martinelly-Montano, who entered the United States illegally as a child, allegedly was driving drunk when his vehicle struck another car, killing one nun and seriously injuring two others. Martinelly-Montano had been released back into the community after two prior DUI convictions and has been awaiting 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 Thursday to announce his plan, said county officials have tried for years to get ICE to release the data, however ICE officials have been "stiff-arming us." Stewart is particularly interested in the individuals being released back into Prince William, specifically the ones ICE has "taken into custody" from the local jail and then sent back into the county.
Stewart said he plans to testify on Capitol Hill and make his case of why the 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," they just 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 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.
August 5, 2010; 11:30 AM ET
Categories: Corey Stewart , Immigration , Jennifer Buske
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