Todd Beamon and John Bachman
The Obama administration’s policy of not deporting illegal immigrants arrested for criminal activity “is not working for public safety in the United States,” Texas Rep. Ted Poe tells Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.
“That’s a lot of people who are committing crimes that were in our custody – they were unlawfully in the United States,” the Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee tells Newsmax. “They should have been deported originally.
“They were not, and now American people are suffering the consequences, because more crime is being committed by those people who should have been deported.”
Poe, a former judge, was referring to a report the Judiciary Committee issued on Tuesday saying that illegal immigrants released through the Obama administration’s Secure Communities program went on to commit more crimes – including charges of 19 murders, 3 attempted murders and 142 sex crimes.
Overall, the nearly 47,000 illegal immigrants the administration was notified of but did not deport between 2008 and 2011 had a recidivism rate of 16 percent, said the committee’s analysis, conducted with the Congressional Research Service.
They were among the nearly 160,000 immigrants, many of whom were here legally, who came under Secure Communities during the three-year period but who were not eligible for deportation or who the administration decided to release. Those immigrants went on to be charged in nearly 60,000 more crimes, according to the report.
Secure Communities identifies immigrants who run afoul of the law and who the administration decides it wants to deport. Hundreds of thousands have been deported under the program, but 159,286 did not undergo such proceedings during the period under review, the report said.
“That’s about 26,000 crimes committed by people that should have been deported the first time that they were seized by ICE,” Poe said, referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “It’s not working, because the proof is in the statistics that crimes are still being committed by those people who are in custody illegally in the United States.
“They’re not deported because some administration bureaucrat gives them a pass,” Poe said.
Meanwhile, Poe has proposed the Preserving American Privacy Act, which would prevent federal, state and local authorities from using drone aircraft to spy on Americans without a warrant. The bill, with 23 co-sponsors, is in the Judiciary Committee.
Similar legislation was proposed in the Senate by Kentucky Republican Rand Paul last month.
The Federal Aviation Administration has estimated that as many as 30,000 drones could be flying over American airspace by 2020, said Poe, who also sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“It’s important that we make sure that the Fourth Amendment’s constitutional protection of search and seizure and right of privacy are upheld by the government and not infringed upon by government or other citizens on Americans. And we need to do this now.
“Where a warrant’s required to go into someone’s house, a warrant would be required for the use of a drone,” Poe explained. “There are numerous exceptions that law enforcement may use under current law. And, of course, it only applies to surveillance.”
“This legislation will present guidelines to prevent unlawful invasion of privacy by other citizens or by other organizations that are not government law-enforcement agencies.”
Regulating such sophisticated technology should be done by Congress, not the FAA. “Those regulations are somewhat nebulous,” Poe said.
“Congress should make those decisions to make sure that it requires the basic constitutional protection that you cannot infringe on someone’s privacy, such as their backyard, without their consent.”
“It shouldn’t be the bureaucrats deciding where drones are used and not used,” Poe added. “Congress should make that decision in efforts to protect the American people.”