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Feds release illegal immigrant despite assault conviction

8:41 AM, Mar 1, 2013   |    comments
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(AP file)

ATLANTA -- After nearly three years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement released an illegal immigrant from metro Atlanta despite a conviction for assault and history of not complying with the terms of his probation.

Anthony Orlando Williams spend nearly three years at a federal detention facility in Alabama while immigration officials attempted to deport him to his native Jamaica.

According to court documents, Williams was arrested in 2005 for assault, battery and cruelty to children. Williams says he was in the middle of a nasty divorce when he got into a shoving match with his now ex-wife.

Williams eventually pled guilty to misdemeanor assault, battery and cruelty to children.

However, court records show he was rearrested in 2010 for failing to comply with the terms of his probation -- specifically missing several court-mandated meetings with his probation officer.

Immigration officials insist Williams was not released because of looming federal budget cuts -- although his release did coincide with hundreds of other detainees set free last week because of cutbacks.

Instead, immigration officials say Williams was released because of a Supreme Court decision ruling that it was unlawful to hold detainees indefinitely if efforts to deport them had been exhausted.

Williams says he is not a danger to the public or a flight risk. "I don't hurt anybody. I don't fight with anybody -- except my ex-wife and that was years ago," he said.

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