Washington: The US tried repeatedly to deport Jean Jacques, an immigrant living in the US illegally, but his native Haiti wouldn't take him back after he served more than a decade in a state prison for attempted murder and committed multiple parole violations.
Each time Jacques was arrested on a parole violation, he would serve a sentence in state prison and then be released to immigration custody.
At least three times, Haiti refused to take him back, so Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in early 2015 did the same thing they do thousands of times a year they released a violent criminal immigrant from jail.
Six months later, Jacques killed Casey Chadwick, a young Norwich, Connecticut, woman. He was convicted of murder last April and faces sentencing this summer.
Jacques is a textbook example of the kind of immigrant living in the US illegally that the Obama administration says should be returned to his home country.
But that's easier said than done.
Jacques' release and that of more than 19,700 convicted criminal immigrants during the 2015 budget year reveal yet another complication in the country's complicated immigration system. ICE has released tens of thousands of convicted criminals. Combined, those people have been convicted of hundreds of thousands of crimes, including murder and sexual assault.
Jacques' case and those of others like him show how difficult it would be to carry out proposals by some politicians, including presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, that immigration officials simply find and deport the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally.
ICE Director Sarah Saldana told Congress recently that agents routinely have little choice but to release immigrants. Saldana said the agency is bound by a complex set of immigration laws and rules that govern which immigrants have to be detained and which ones can be set free while they wait for an immigration judge to rule on their case.
Add to the mix a yearslong immigration court backlog of nearly half a million cases and some criminal immigrants could be free in the United States for years before being ordered out of the country.
"What is unacceptable is even one (release). Why did you release even one person?" Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asked Saldana.