Judicial Watch Sues DHS For Information Surrounding Release of 36,000 Criminal Aliens

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Oct 02, 2014 10:19 AM
Judicial Watch Sues DHS For Information Surrounding Release of 36,000 Criminal Aliens

Government watchdog Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security for information surrounding the release of 36,000 criminal aliens into American communities earlier this year. The lawsuit comes after DHS officials failed to respond to a May 15, 2014 FOIA request in the amount of time required by law. 

In the lawsuit, Judicial Watch is seeking "Any and all records of communications including, but not limited to, emails and memoranda, to or from personnel in the office of the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (including its component offices, such as the Office of Public Affairs), from May 1 to May 15, 2014, concerning, regarding, or related to the report published by the Center for Immigrations Studies concerning the release of 36,000 criminal aliens."

The initial FOIA request came after a report from the Center for Immigration Studies showed tens-of-thousands of violent criminal aliens, including those with convictions of rape, murder, kidnapping, aggravated assault, drunk driving, vehicle theft and more, were set free. 

“How many Americans will be killed, maimed, or victimized by the Obama administration’s release of aliens convicted of violent crimes?” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement about the lawsuit. “Under President Obama, the Department of Homeland Security has turned from a law enforcement agency into one that undermines and violates our nation’s immigration laws in a way that threatens the public safety. And now Homeland Security is in cover-up mode and violating federal law to keep documents about its mass release of criminals away from the American people.” 

Earlier this year, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee that he was aware of reports about the release of criminal aliens and was looking into the details about what exactly happened. Those details have still not been provided.