Close to 166,000 undocumented immigrants with criminal records were released by the federal government into the U.S., according to documents obtained by a conservative foundation and revealed Monday.
As of 2014, the Department of Homeland Security released the immigrants- with convictions for rapes, murders, aggravated assaults and other crimes- on the condition they leave the U.S., according to DHS documents obtained by Judicial Watch.
But the 165,950 illegals did not leave the country, according to Breitbart.com. Some Republicans have labeled the release the "worst prison break in American history."
"These criminal immigrants should have been deported to ensure that they could never commit crimes on U.S. soil. But instead, ICE officials chose not to detain them and instead released them back onto American streets," Republican Congressman Lamar Smith, from Texas, said in a 2014 press release.
Judicial Watch obtained the 76 DHS documents after filing a lawsuit last July claiming it was entitled to the records under the Freedom of Information Act. Details include a 2014 incident where immigration agents said local law enforcement would not cooperate when it came to apprehending an illegal immigrant held on rape charges at a Maryland jail.
"ERO [Enforcement and Removal Operations] officers were also denied access to interview the alien at police station last Friday due to Montgomery County prohibitions against immigration enforcement," according to an email obtained by Judicial Watch.
The organization's report comes a week after the DHS released another report saying Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents released 30,000 undocumented criminals in 2014, increasing the total released by the Obama administration to 195,900, according to the Daily Caller. For Judicial Watch, this leaves one lingering question.
"Where do the innocent victims of the illegal alien criminals this president's appointees have set free go for justice?" Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said.