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March 19, 2015

INHOFE: It’s Time to Close Immigration Loophole that Released 30,000 Criminal Aliens Back into the U.S.

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) released the following statement regarding the Wednesday announcement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that the agency had released back into the United States another 30,558 immigrants with criminal records in fiscal year 2014:

“It is time the Obama Administration addresses a dangerous immigration loophole that is allowing criminal aliens to be released back into the United States’ when their country of origin rejects a deportation request. Roughly 30,000 immigrants, many who have committed a crime of violence or an aggravated felony, were released back into our communities last year. This is 30,000 too many roaming our streets and living in our neighborhoods, going unpunished for crimes against American residents. Keep Our Communities Safe Act would close this loophole, and I will continue to fight for a vote on this legislation.” 

On Jan. 29, Inhofe introduced Keep Our Communities Safe Act (S.291) with Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), David Vitter (R-La.), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas). The legislation would close the legal loophole created by the U.S. Supreme Court in Zadvydas v. Davis case (2001) that requires immigration authorities to release back into the United States any immigrant that has not been accepted for deportation to other countries after being detained for six months. This practice is commonly referred to as “catch and release.”

On March 11, Inhofe introduced the legislation as an amendment to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (S.178). At the time of this release, the amendment had not received a vote. 

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