The Obama administration’s lax immigration policies have allowed potentially millions of illegal immigrants to avoid current immigration laws, even though they have been apprehended by law enforcement. Administration officials claim they want to focus on deporting criminal immigrants accused of serious crimes. But if illegal immigrants already arrested aren’t a priority, then who is?

The report issued this week, conducted by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), crosschecked the subpoenaed data from DHS to see if illegal immigrants released by the administration had committed additional crimes. The report shows that the Obama Administration has implemented a policy that puts dangerous illegal and criminal immigrants back into our communities.

The CRS report found that many of these illegal immigrants have gone on to commit other serious and heinous crimes. Of 46,000 illegal immigrants released, CRS found that over 7,000 (or 16%) of them were rearrested on criminal charges within three years.  

Of these crimes, there were 19 murders, three attempted murders, and 142 sex crimes. These crimes could have been avoided. The Obama Administration should have detained and deported these dangerous illegal immigrants. 

Other crimes include nearly 2,000 DUI, over 1,400 drug violations, and more than 1,000 major criminal offenses and violent crimes, including murder, assault, battery, rape, kidnapping, child molestation, domestic abuse, lynching, stalking, and torture.

For example, in one case an illegal immigrant was flagged by Secure Communities for vehicle theft in June 2010 and was arrested again for an attempt to commit grand theft just five months later. 

This illegal immigrant should have been detained and deported. But under the Obama administration’s reckless immigration policy, he was released and then last January was arrested for murdering an innocent man. 

President Obama and his administration could have prevented this and other horrible crimes by enforcing all of our immigration laws. Instead of protecting the American people, the president continues to promote an anti-enforcement agenda that endangers thousands of Americans. 

The president’s lack of immigration enforcement puts us at risk and costs American lives. We elect leaders to protect us – not put us in danger.

Smith is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.