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Congressman: Trump Highlighting Why Lawmakers Won't Touch Illegal Immigration

“The illegal alien DREAMer that murdered my son only served four months of an eight-month sentence for assault with a deadly weapon and battery on a police officer,” Shaw said.

“He was released from the county jail the day before he executed my son. Why was this violent illegal alien allowed to walk the streets of America instead of being deported?”

In response to a Center for Immigration Studies FOIA request, Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed that state and local sanctuary policies resulted in the release of more than 8,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records in 276 jurisdictions that federal authorities sought to deport. The data covered an eight-month period in 2014.

Of the 8,000 illegal immigrants released, almost 1,900 went on to commit other crimes and were re-arrested.

“Shame on the rest of the political class that it took a carnival barker like Donald Trump to get this issue on the front burner. This is something that all of us here and a number of other people have been talking about, researching on, introducing legislation on for years and years and years. People have been killed long before Kate Steinle,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies.

Krikorian applauded Trump for meeting with the families of victims killed by illegal immigrants.

“It took a reality TV star with $9 billion and nothing to lose to get the issue on front burner,” he said. “Whatever [Trump’s] qualities, his success at this is an indictment of the entire political class.”

Sheriff Chuck Jenkins of Frederick County, Md., said his department has turned over many illegal immigrants to ICE for committing crimes, including robbery, murder and rape.

Both Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the center, and Jenkins said Congress should pass a bill that cuts off federal funding for cities that release illegal immigrants with criminal records into communities. Barletta agreed.

He also told PJ Media that Congress should ensure the Obama administration is enforcing current law, which requires the federal government to deny visas to countries that will not allow the U.S. to return illegal immigrants with criminal records.

“There needs to be some action rather than doing nothing – it’s not the answer,” he said.