Justice in the shadows | Part 1 — Secret criminals
Many freed criminals avoid deportation, strike again
The vast and secretive US prison system for immigrants, stymied when it tries to deport some criminals, has quietly released thousands, including killers, a Globe investigation shows.
FLUSHING, N.Y. — Qian Wu thought the illegal immigrant who brutally attacked her was gone forever, sure to be deported after he got out of jail for choking, punching and pointing a knife at her. But China refused to take Huang Chen back, so immigration officials released him without telling Wu. In January 2010, Chen finished what he had started, bashing Wu with a hammer and slashing her with a knife, then mutilating her body. Qian Wu is just one casualty of an immigration system cloaked in a blanket of secrecy that the Founding Fathers could not have imagined, a yearlong Globe investigation has found.