ShareThis Page

Fix this lapse: Released illegal alien sex offenders pose a threat

| Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had released 2,837 convicted sex-offender illegal aliens as of September 2012, with lax follow-up compounding the danger, says a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

The Washington Times says they're among nearly 60,000 aliens that ICE can't hold because the U.S. Supreme Court in 2001 ruled that immigration detention can't be punitive. So those who likely can't be deported — often, because their home countries delay needed documents for up to 800 days — must be released.

Released sex-offender illegals are to be “under some sort of supervision,” The Times says. But it reports the GAO found that in about 5 percent of such cases, ICE didn't make sure they registered with local authorities as sex offenders.

Jessica Vaughan, policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies (, is surprised that figure is so low, given ICE's weak monitoring. And she notes U.S. officials aren't using existing authority to retaliate for other countries' foot-dragging on deportation by denying their citizens U.S. travel visas — authority that the Senate immigration bill would diminish by giving the Homeland Security and State departments more latitude on labeling other countries as foot-draggers.

A House bill would let the Homeland Security secretary order indefinite detention of aliens deemed public-safety threats — a far better approach to sex-offender illegals than turning them loose on U.S. soil, as the illegal-coddling Obama administration does.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.