Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldaña told Congress on Thursday she doesn’t know how many illegal aliens have been convicted of crimes in the United States.
Pressed by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Thursday morning, Saldaña claimed the government has no way of knowing how many people who are living in the United States unlawfully have been charged with crimes – a statement that seemed to shock and appall Gosar.
“How many aliens who entered the United States illegally were charged with felonies? If you have those numbers, I’d like them for the record,” Gosar asked Saldaña.
As I said earlier, there are 11.2 million aliens in the United States, illegally –”
“I don’t care about the 11 million. I’m asking about those that come in with felonies. That were charged with felonies,” Gosar said.
After Saldaña appeared not to understand the question, Gosar tried again.
“How many aliens who entered the United States illegally were charged with felonies in 2015? You have those numbers. I want them,” he said.
“We don’t have those numbers,” Saldaña responded.
“After they got here, don’t you get it?” Gosar pressed.
“They’re illegally here, and they were charged here. You’ve got those numbers,” he continued.
“No, sir,” Saldaña said.
Watch the exchange below:
According to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) published Thursday, the Obama administration released 19,723 criminal aliens representing 64,197 total convictions from federal custody in FY2015. Those numbers are in addition to the 36,007 criminal aliens the administration released in FY2013, and the 30,558 released in FY2014.
The significantly lower number of criminal alien releases in FY2015 corresponds with the number of criminal alien arrests made that year. In FY2015, ICE made just 119,772 arrests of criminal illegal aliens – nearly half of the 232,287 arrests made in FY2014, CIS reported.