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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    News probe supports Babeu’s claims

    Posted: Monday, June 13, 2016 8:19 am
    By KATIE CAMPBELL Staff Writer

    FLORENCE — Dennis Valerievitch Tsoukanov, a 33-year-old Russian man, was convicted of murder after he and two others kidnapped, beat, stabbed and lit a police informant on fire. The victim lost his life. And last year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement let Tsoukanov go free in Florence.

    The reason given to Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu: Tsoukanov did not have travel documents to prove his citizenship, and therefore, he could not be deported to Russia.

    Now, the Boston Globe has found that Tsoukanov is only one of thousands of criminal immigrants released by ICE in the United States.

    On Sept. 28, 2011, the Globe filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the names, crimes and last-known states of residence of convicted criminals released by ICE in the U.S. The request ultimately led to a federal lawsuit filed in New York, which the news organization won after Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ruled in its favor and ordered the release of the names.

    ICE told the Globe it freed 12,941 criminals nationwide between 2008 and early 2014, according to the report — a number that only skims the surface, the report goes on to show, because ICE Director Sarah Saldaña told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that the agency actually freed 36,007 criminals in fiscal 2013 alone.

    The Globe reviewed 323 of the criminals included among those ICE provided — those who had been released in New England between 2008 and 2012 — and found that as many as 30 percent committed new offenses after their release. Those offenses included rape, attempted murder and child molestation, according to the report.

    “The review does not indicate that immigrants are any more likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans — and in fact studies have shown that not to be the case,” the report states. “But the review reveals the damage inflicted on victims by criminals who were ordered to be deported when their sentences were complete, and were not, and it raises questions about how the government handled their cases.”
    Those questions are nothing new to Babeu.

    “It’s painfully apparent that this information has been concealed from the public and from us in law enforcement who are charged with protecting the families in our state,” Babeu said in response to the investigation’s findings. “Some people think we’re just complaining about this issue and would never believe that our own government would do this, yet this is the truth. This has happened right here in our county, and sometimes it takes an independent report such as this that really puts a spotlight on the truth and holds our federal government accountable.”

    A past offender in Pinal County was notably released after a repeat offense as recently as May. The Dispatch reported 20-year-old Ana Salazar was booked into the Pinal County jail after she was found driving a vehicle containing about 313 pounds of marijuana and charged with transporting marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale. She had two prior arrests for human smuggling, according to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, yet she was released from custody without bond by Court Commissioner Sylvia Lafferty 10 hours after the third offense.

    Babeu said whistle-blowers working at private facilities told him ICE released close to 500 criminal immigrants in Pinal County in February 2013. As a result of this information, Babeu sent a request for a congressional investigation in March 2013 in which he wrote, “ICE initially denied the allegations about a mass criminal prison release, then later admitted to a couple hundred and days later acknowledged that 303 were released from four facilities in Pinal County, Arizona.”

    ICE did not notify Babeu of the releases, nor did ICE notify law enforcement officials nationwide of potentially dangerous criminals being released into the communities some of the former detainees later preyed upon.

    “How is it we can release 67,000 criminals who aren’t even citizens of our country and somehow nobody is responsible for this?” Babeu said. He has previously said ICE released 67,000 criminal immigrants between 2013 and 2014; according to the Globe report, the number was actually 86,288 from 2013 to fiscal 2015.

    “People are getting murdered. People are getting raped. People are getting robbed. People are getting killed in drunk-driving wrecks. Yet there’s no accountability, and if we say something against it, all of a sudden, we become the heartless, cold American who is not being open to the concerns of people who have a difficult time from another country.”

    He said it’s not about that — “We’re talking about a very small portion of the overall illegals who are here who give even the illegal immigrants a bad name.” It’s about public safety and the public’s right to know who is being released and why.

    On Thursday, the Casa Grande Dispatch submitted a FOIA request to ICE for “the full names, specific crimes, dates of the crimes committed and dates of release for all convicted criminals released in Arizona by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency as a result of the 2001 Supreme Court decision in Zadvydas v. Davis, limiting the amount of time officials can jail immigrants who cannot be deported.” According to a timeline of the Globe’s investigation, ICE told the news organization that its initial request for the names, crimes, last-known states of residence for the former detainees and the reasons they were not deported had to be modified or the data would not be available; the request was then made to include the distinction that criminals whose information would be provided were released because of the 2001 Supreme Court decision. Therefore, the Dispatch made this distinction as well in anticipation of a similar response to Thursday’s request.

    In a separate matter, the Dispatch also asked the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Media Relations Department why it no longer identifies drug smuggling suspects in press releases. The department used to name such suspects when they were arrested and booked, which is the current practice of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office. No response to the email sent this week has been returned.

    Identifying suspected criminals allows for the creation of a searchable database for news organizations to follow the adjudication and recidivism of individuals.

    ICE’s Phoenix Field Office did not return several requests for comment, and neither the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona nor the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project would comment on the Globe’s findings or its implications for immigrants to the states.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Why would we free a murderer? I don't understand. Why wasn't he and his two cohorts sentenced to death or given life sentences for murder?

    And the media wants to attack Trump for saying of Obama, "something is going on"? Something is going on alright and it's not just with the Muslims, it's the whole story of immigration.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
    Save America, Deport Congress! - Judy

    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

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