More than 2,000 illegal immigrants were turned loose on American streets after serving prison sentences last year – often because their home countries refused to take them back – and many subsequently committed crimes including rape and murder, a key lawmaker charged Monday.

The claim, by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, comes a week after a federal audit blamed the Department of Homeland Security and an uncooperative Haiti for an illegal immigrant being freed to kill a Connecticut woman.

Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, called on the Obama administration to put renewed pressure on countries that won’t take back their own criminals after they have been ticketed for deportation.

“Dangerous criminals, including murderers, are being released every day because their home countries will not cooperate in taking them back,” Grassley wrote in a June 27 letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

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