Afghan criminals will be released into U.S., former ICE director says
Former immigration and naturalization chief H.R. “Bob” Thomas, a former adviser to Attorney General Eric Holder, said he believes that there are now enough criminals in the U.S. prisons that “reentry to the United States is not possible.”
Thomas, who served in the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice, made the comments to NBC’s “Today” on Friday.
“I think you’re going to find that those who have committed crimes will be released back into our communities,” Thomas said. “And we do not want to deport them.”
Thomas is currently serving in his third term as the associate director of ICE’s Enforcement Operations Section. Thomas is scheduled to retire in late May.
Thomas’ comment comes the same day President Barack Obama issued another executive order on immigration, this time with the goal of making the nation’s immigration system more efficient. The president directed federal agencies to review what they and the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency (ICE) should do under Obama’s recent executive actions.
“The administration is committed to keeping America safe. But the administration is clear: We must take action to secure the borders and stop the illegal flow of people across the border,” the president said in a statement.
The president also directed the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to conduct a joint, in-depth review of the immigration laws in place and the federal criminal justice system to figure out what steps law enforcement can take to combat illegal immigration.
“There’s clearly a lot of work to be done,” Thomas said. “We should have made these arrests in the first place. But I think the president wants to get ahead of any problems.”
The former ICE director also blamed the Obama’s administration for not keeping up with some recommendations for reform.