In all, ICE released 36,007 convicted criminals nationwide during the last fiscal year. The agency told Grassley it had no discretion for the release of many of them and that they were freed from custody through bond, orders of recognizance, orders of supervision, alternatives to detention, and parole.
On April 22, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sent ICE a request under the federal Freedom of Information Act for records about the criminals it has released in recent years. ICE officials said they are still working on the newspaper’s request.
In his letter to Grassley, Thomas Winkowski, ICE’s principal deputy assistant secretary, said his agency would start requiring senior-level supervisors to approve the release of any “potentially dangerous individuals.”
“Ensuring that our enforcement policies and procedures are best suited to protect national security and public safety is paramount,” Winkowski wrote.