As Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began deportations on illegal immigrants with criminal records, ICE also released its first “Declined Detainer” report, highlighting multiple cases in which law enforcement agencies did not honor ICE detainers and released them. Those who had been released later committed additional crimes.
The report followed President Trump’s executive order, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, and the Department of Homeland Security’s implementation memorandum, Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest.
“The Declined Detainer Report highlights cases in which detainers have not been honored and aliens have subsequently been rearrested or, to the best of ICE’s knowledge, remain at large, demonstrating the critical public safety threat posed by non-cooperation.” the report said.
The report stressed the importance of cooperation between ICE and state and local law enforcement agencies: “Cooperation between ICE and state and local law enforcement agencies is critical to the effort to identify and arrest removable aliens and defend the nation’s security. Every day, ICE places detainers on individuals who the agency has probable cause to believe are aliens who are removable from the United States and are currently in federal, state, and local law enforcement agency custody.”
The report pointed out that due to a lack of cooperation from some jurisdictions criminals have been released to commit additional crimes, including violent felonies.
“Some jurisdictions willfully decline to honor ICE detainers and refuse to timely notify ICE of an alien’s release, and may do so even when an alien has a criminal record. Unfortunately, a number of aliens who have been released under these circumstances have gone on to commit additional crimes, including violent felonies. ICE maintains that most of these crimes could have been prevented if ICE had been able to assume custody of these aliens and remove them from the country in accordance with federal immigration laws,” the reported added.
In one case, a 23-year-old citizen from Honduras has been arrested and release 10 times in San Francisco for additional crimes. When he was arrested, he was booked into the San Francisco County Jail, and ICE issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored, and he was released. Later this man was arrested for another crime and booked into San Francisco County Jail and ICE issued a detainer, but the detainer was not honored and he was released. This happened 10 times leading to 10 arrests of the same man.
Additionally, the report said that refusals from some jurisdictions will lead to using additional unnecessary resources from the government. “Ultimately, a jurisdiction’s decision to ignore ICE detainers increases the need for ICE’s presence in communities and requires additional resources to locate and arrest removable aliens. This consumes significant investigative hours and strategic operational planning, which may or may not be successful.”
ICE acting Director Matthew Albence said in an interview with Fox News on July 14 that the report “is highlighting the dangers caused by some of these sanctuary cities policies.”
“The sad part is a lot of these law enforcement agencies want to cooperate with us. It’s the politicians and these jurisdictions that prevent them from doing so,” he said.
On March 20, 2018, from White House fact sheet “Sanctuary Cities Undermine Law Enforcement and Endanger Our Communities,” President Trump said “Our cities should be sanctuaries for Americans–not for criminal aliens.”