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HEARING ADVISORY: Immigration Subcommittee to Examine Public Safety Threat Posed by Criminal Aliens


Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 10:00 a.m., the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled, “The Real Victims of a Reckless and Lawless Immigration Policy: Families and Survivors Speak Out on the Real Cost of This Administration’s Policies.” At the hearing, members of the subcommittee will examine the significant public safety threat posed by criminal aliens and the victims they have left in their wake as a result of the Obama Administration’s abandonment of immigration enforcement and its failure to secure the border.

Under President Obama’s watch, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a series of memoranda and policies that undermine the United States’ immigration laws, which allow thousands of criminal aliens to remain in the United States and continue their criminal activity. Between October 2011 and December 2014, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released criminal aliens from detention over 105,000 times. Examples of crimes committed before their release include assault, sexual assaults, homicide-related offenses, and kidnapping.

Witnesses for the hearing are:

  • Sheriff Charles Jenkins, Frederick County, Maryland

  • Michelle Root, mother of Sarah Root, who was killed by an unlawful immigrant on January 31, 2016

  • Laura Wilkerson, mother of Josh Wilkerson, who was tortured and murdered by an unlawful immigrant on November 16, 2010

  • A Democratic witness to be named

Below are statements from Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) on the hearing.

Subcommittee Chairman Gowdy: “Time and time again, the Obama Administration’s failure to secure our border, enforce our immigration laws, and hold criminal aliens accountable for their actions has caused a significant threat to our public safety, often resulting in deadly consequences for innocent Americans. Not everyone is a dreamer or a valedictorian – there are criminals motivated by malice and a conscious disrespect for the law. But these losses are preventable, and it should not take the tragic death of another innocent life for this administration to begin enforcing our laws.

“Last July, the House passed legislation to strengthen our public safety by holding sanctuary cities accountable. Congress, and the Judiciary Committee, will continue to address illegal immigrant crime, and I look forward to further examining the issue on Tuesday.”

Chairman Goodlatte: “Illegal immigration is not a victimless crime. The Obama Administration’s refusal to enforce our nation’s immigration laws and its release of criminal aliens into American communities has tragic consequences. Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, friends and neighbors across the United States have lost loved ones at the hands of criminal aliens. Not only are these losses of life tragic, they would be preventable if the Administration enforced our immigration laws.

“Next week, the Immigration Subcommittee will examine the public safety threat posed by criminal aliens and the Administration’s policies that allow them to roam free in communities across the country. We will hear from local law enforcement as well as from some of the victims’ family members. In hearing from those who have been hurt most by the Administration’s lack of enforcement, I hope and pray that President Obama will reconsider his failed policies, change course, and enforce our immigration laws so that we protect Americans’ lives.”

This hearing will take place in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building and will be webcast live at https://judiciary.house.gov/. Camera crews wishing to cover must be congressionally-credentialed and RSVP with the House Radio-TV Gallery at (202) 225-5214.

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