Skip to comments.Lawmakers blast ICE on illegal release
Posted on 05/06/2011 5:35:44 PM PDT by Born Conservative
A six-year illegal immigrant released following a traffic stop in Beaver Meadows and four-hour processing was not detained and deported because he was not "a priority case," an official from Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Thursday.
The illegal immigrant's release has drawn the ire of Hazleton area lawmakers.
"Obviously I'm very concerned about the situation in Beaver Meadows, and I want to know why this admitted illegal alien was released from custody," U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-11, Hazleton, said Thursday.
"I'm insulted and aggravated by the situation," said state Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-116, Butler Township.
Beaver Meadows police Chief Michael Morresi on Monday stopped a speeding car driven by Oswaldo Tlalmis-Perez, an illegal immigrant who produced a Mexican registration card as identification, two public benefit Access cards bearing different names and $3,000 in cash. After four hours of processing Tlalmis-Perez at state police barracks at Hazleton, consulting with a Miami-based translator, and confirming his status as illegal, Morresi said ICE ordered him to release the illegal immigrant.
Morresi cited Tlalmis-Perez for driving at an unsafe speed and without a driver's license.
"I spoke with Chief Morresi about the incident, and I share his frustration with the way ICE apparently chose to handle this incident," Barletta said. "I want answers from ICE, and I know my constituents want answers, so I sent a letter to the director of the agency seeking an explanation as to why this man was released."
ICE Northeast Regional Communications Director Michael Gilhooly said a senior officer from Philadelphia's Enforcement and Removal branch discussed the situation Thursday with the Beaver Meadows police chief.
"As the subject was not arrested and charged with a crime by the local department, did not have a criminal record and is not a fugitive from ICE, the subject was not a priority case and a detainer was not placed. ICE has the pertinent information on the individual to follow up at a later time," Gilhooly said.
Barletta said the illegal immigrant's release "is the reason I tried to pass an immigration law when I was mayor of Hazleton." The former Hazleton mayor has sent a letter to ICE Director John Morton asking for answers.
"We're in Washington trying to cut this type of spending abuse, and I would like to know what the policy is for ICE to handle it the way they did," Barletta said.
Gilhooly said ICE focuses on "sensible, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes efforts first on those serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities."
On May 2, Morresi transported the 30-year-old man to state police barracks at Hazleton for a live body scan and notified ICE. Agents from ICE obtained the services of an Miami-based interpreter, who interviewed Tlalmis-Perez and determined he was in the United States illegally for the past six years.
Morresi thought ICE would issue a detainer, which would have kept the man in custody until he could be deported back to Mexico. It didn't happen. Instead, after going through a four-hour ordeal to process Tlalmis-Perez, ICE denied the detainer and ordered the man released by Beaver Meadows police.
Morresi followed orders and released Tlalmis-Perez at the Luzerne County line.
Toohil, after reading about the illegal immigrant's release, had plenty of questions of her own.
"Who made the decision? Why was the decision made? Why aren't they enforcing the law?" Toohil asked.
"If he is not a legal citizen," Toohil said, "why wasn't he deported, and why did he have two Access cards issued in his name?"
Toohil said she intended to find out more about the incident.
"This is insulting to every citizen of this country," Toohil said.
WHAT did they “blast” them with????
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."
Access cards are PA's welfare/Medicaid cards which can be used to get cash from an ATM. He had 2 with different names AND $3,000 in cash. Our tax dollars at work...
If all these illigals were presumed to be future GOP votes if made legal, boy oh boy would we be seeing a different approach!!!!
What happened to the car? If it was validly registered in his putative name, did a valid driver come to pick it up, or did they pass him over the county border with no warning to the rest of us? Did they give him back both benefit cards too?
Hope Lou gets more than the platitudes ICE normally issues.
Ping to you Trib and Kid.
KEEP THE DOORS LOCKED. THEY ARE NOT DETAINING ALIENS.
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