America Gets Pushed Around On Immigration

How is it that a country as large as the United States gets pushed around so easily on immigration? Despite our tepid economy and dysfunctional political environment, America remains the land where “the streets are paved with gold” for the world’s risk-takers. The US continues to provide generous aid to countries all over the globe. Yet, when it comes to immigration, America walks small with a tiny twig.

[The] US tried repeatedly to deport Jean Jacques, an immigrant living in the US illegally, but his native Haiti wouldn’t take him back after he served more than a decade in a state prison for attempted murder and committed 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 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.

Along with Jean the murderer, the US Department of Homeland Security released another 19,700 convicted criminal immigrants in 2015 into American cities. At the same time, the federal government pushes back on state and local efforts to control illegal immigration.

Releasing a criminal immigrant back into the streets of America is just plain wrong. The fact that Americans like Casey Chadwick are murdered, injured, or victimized by these criminals is even worse, as every one of these post-release crimes is totally preventable. The federal government should do more to protect its citizens from such people.

By Matt A. Mayer for American Enterprise Institute
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