Senate Bill Closes Criminal Illegal Alien ‘Catch and Release’ Loophole


Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) has re-introduced the Keep Our Communities Safe Act (S.291) to 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 U.S. 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.”

36,000 Criminals Released Annually

Inhofe explains that tens of thousands of convicted criminals are released annually due to the loophole: “Currently, if no other country will accept a convicted immigrant for deportation within six months, federal policy instructs for them to be released back into the United States. In 2013 alone, more than 36,000 immigrants convicted for crimes such as homicide and sexual assault were released back into our communities after their countries of origin failed to respond to deportation orders.”

The number of removals of criminal illegal aliens from the interior of the U.S. fell 17.9%, from 216,810 in FY2013 to 177,960 in FY2014, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) annual report shows.

And, about two-thirds of criminal aliens removed from the interior had already been removed previously or were immigration fugitives, the report shows:

“62% of ICE’s interior criminal alien removals were previously removed from the United States or were immigration fugitives, and 65 percent of all interior Level 3 (misdemeanor conviction) removals had previously been removed or were immigration fugitives.”

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