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Monday, December 10, 2012

Detain And Release: When Illegal Immigrants Commit A Crime

Detectives from New York City Police escort Huang Chen from the 109th precinct in the Queens, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010. (AP/New York Times, Uli Seit)

Detectives from New York City Police escort Huang Chen from the 109th precinct in the Queens, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010. (AP/New York Times, Uli Seit)

Maria Sacchetti of the Boston Globe reports on the detention and release of illegal immigrants with criminal records in the US.

One of the cases Sacchetti uncovered concerns a Chinese immigrant, Huang Chen, who went to jail in 2006 for attacking a woman in New York. But China wanted nothing to do with the man and so immigration authorities just let him go. Chen then returned to the woman he attacked and killed her after stalking her for two weeks.

From Part I of the Boston Globe series:

“A yearlong Globe investigation found the culture of secrecy can be deadly to Americans and foreigners alike: Immigration officials do not notify most crime victims when they release a criminal such as Chen, and they only notify local law enforcement on a case by case basis. And even though immigration officials have the power to try to hold dangerous people longer, that rarely occurs.”


  • Maria Sacchetti, Boston Globe

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1410934986 Karen P. Schuh

    I just listened to most of the immigration story relating to the Globe’s investigation, and I am so shocked and appalled by the behavior and policies of  U.S. Immigration officials.   I really hope lots of people hear about the Globe’s series and that the government will investigate this situation closely and try to change the current policies.   This is horrible for everyone involved!   Thank you Robin for your great reporting as always.

    • Robin

      Well we thank Maria Sacchetti! Support your local newspaper too!

      All best

  • KazakFlea

    Important to note that the issue of how we manage/treat criminally insane people in our society (let’s face it the cases highlighted in the first part of this series were over the top in their brutality and shock-value) is a separate issue from our mess of an immigration system.  The point is not that these people should not have been in our country so much as they should not have been walking around the streets untreated in ANY COUNTRY.  Today’s article in the Globe follows up with the far more common situation — noncriminals having their lives destroyed by a government agency with no checks or controls because immigration was not sufficiently addressed by our Constitution and now is completely misgoverned by our asinine body of immigration law and policy.  ICE has a larger budget and more staff than the FBI???  Tellingly they are not under the “Department of Justice” but “Homeland Security” — the new government agency that sounds more like something from an Orwellian nightmare than anything else.
    As always, you want to understand how we got to this point? Follow the money.  Who owns the private, for-profit detention facilities?  Who has been writing the laws and policies of our immigration system in the past 20 years?  If the media could please address these issues, the conversation might actually get somewhere beyond xenophobic pearl clutching.

  • Kathleen3

    There is a fine line separating gross and willful dereliction of duty from treason and 99.9% of our elected and appointed officials have crossed that line.  The DHS and ICE are both bogus government agencies.

  • Don Domingues

    I own an immigration consulting company that gets its majority of business advising the 85% of undocumented residents who can’t afford an attorney. Most are good, hard working people with families to support that get picked up on minor crimes like traffic violations. Then they are held for the crime of being in this country illegally. Between the city or county jail and the detention facility the crime transforms to a civil action thus excludes them from their fourth amendment right to counsel. They must represent themselves pro se while being detained. Some don’t speak English and some are illiterate and virtually all don’t know the laws of this country. We try to help as many as we can for 1/10th the average retainer of a lawyer but only lawyers can put their phone numbers on the inside, so not many people even know we exist. We do, in my opinion, a better job than the lawyers on the simple things like getting them bonded out and helping them communicate with the relatives on the outside and helping them understand the rules. What kind of country is this? In Louisiana the legislature, with all their wisdom decided to further violate these people’s civil rights by enacting a law of Driving Without Legal Presence. Since when do States make decisions on the federal issue of immigration. With this law the suspected illegal can be held 90 days before an arraignment. And bonds go from a few hundred to ten thousand with no bail available to them. There is just too much for me to say on this issue but I welcome anyone who wants to discuss possible solutions to contact me at don@aic-immigration.com

    • MyNameIsTed

      >>Some don’t speak English and some are illiterate and virtually all don’t know the laws of this country. 

      Yeah, these folks sound like real productive members of society that should be rewarded with American citizenship. 

      >>In Louisiana the legislature, with all their wisdom decided to further violate these people’s civil rights by enacting a law of Driving Without Legal Presence. 

      Oh yes, how dare Louisiana decide to refuse STATE-ISSUED drivers licenses to people who are in the country illegally!  

      >>Since when do States make decisions on the federal issue of immigration?

      When the federal government ignores the states’ mounting problems of illegal immigration.  A better question would be “Since when does the federal government make decisions on the state issue of driver’s licenses?”

      >>What kind of country is this? 

      Most of us watching unchecked illegal immigration spread like a cancer throughout the nation while the government is itching to issue another amnesty and essentially turn America into a Third World Country are asking the very same question.

      • Don

        You are a good example of a large portion of this country that are xenophobic, uninformed and opinionated without the knowledge to have a qualified opinion. This has nothing to do with Louisiana issuing drivers licenses, it has to do with the fact that Louisiana does not have the authority to determine who is legally here or not. That is for the federal government to determine. Do you think Louisiana should make determination weather or not you paid the proper amount of federal taxes? That you should be arrested and charged even when you might not be guilty and given a higher bond and a longer time for arraignment? That a person charged with a crime is not guilty until proven guilty. Yet Louisiana is making the determination of legal status and imposing a penalty. What recourse do the people picked up on this law who are legal have. Your ignorance on this complicated issue makes you look foolish with that type of response.

        • MyNameIsTed

          And you are an excellent example of the knee-jerk reaction to anyone who disagrees about embracing illegal immigration by labeling that person a xenophobe. Is that supposed to be slightly more sophisticated than calling me a racist, which is the typical pro-illegal immigration response?
          I live in an area where I personally see and experience the effects of unchecked illegal immigration – where, then, am I lacking “knowledge to have a qualified opinion”? What is more qualified than that? You’re somehow more qualified simply because you’ve made it your life’s work to reward people whose first act in entering this country is entering it illegally?Being angry that my quality of life is negatively impacted by scores and scores of people who disregard the law and are rewarded for it does not make me a xenophobe.  I could make the case that your vocation is inherently anti-American. How does that feel?

          • Don Domingues

            A xenophobe and racist are not synonymous, but I would think you are both. I will defer my answer to your next two questions until you can be more specific as to the experience of unchecked immigration that you mention. This immigration business that I own is not my life’s work in that I have and have had many other business ventures in my career not in any way related to immigration. I have a special interest in this business because I am helping people society has ignored. I am not helping anyone break the law but rather just the opposite, I am helping these people who must represent themselves receive equal treatment under the law as everyone else that is guaranteed a lawyer. As far as how I feel that you imply, that because I help indigent people be better prepared to represent themselves, that I’m somehow anti-American, I feel like I’m doing a benevolent service and your opinion has no baring on my feelings. I know I’m doing the right thing. If your skills are so lacking that, uneducated laborers that don’t speak the same language can displace you then you need to get off the public dole of being a beneficiary of public policy that is contrary to economic principals of supply and demand and get a better education.

      • Don Domingues

        I would venture to guess that most of these people are more productive than you based on your response.

        Regardless of anyone’s legal status of being in this country, everyone should be treated humanely.

        Do you realize that you were “rewarded with US citizenship” by just being born here. No where did I suggest that anyone should be rewarded with citizenship but just made the point that special laws are being enacted to deprive certain people their civil rights. And I predict that the Louisiana law that I referred to will be ruled unconstitutional.

  • robinked

    this story is Sickening…if our government Can’t protect Us from ILLEGALS, then What Good Are They…???–I have a ‘suggestion’ if an ILLEGAL breaks the Law & their country Won’t Accept them back, then book the Flight & give said ILLEGAL a shove Out the door at 20k ft., No parachute….Problem Solved You bunch of Panty-Waisted wussies!!!

    • panfleterios varmissi de chell

       you are using capital letter incorrect.

  • Don
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