The Los Angeles Police Department has ignored more than 25,000 requests from ICE authorities to turn over illegal aliens after local police arrested them for various crimes. Fox News recently published the data.
As indicated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website, under current federal legislation regulating joint work between ICE and local police, whenever local police apprehend an illegal alien, they should immediately turn him or her over to ICE custody before releasing him or her.
The procedure is detailed as follows:
- Notify ICE as soon as possible (at least 48 hours in advance, if possible) before the alien is released from custody.
- Maintain custody of the alien for a period not to exceed 48 hours beyond the time the alien would have been released to allow ICE to assume custody.
This procedure is adequately enforced and poses a significant danger to society, considering that according to ICE statistics, released illegal alien criminals have a 46 percent recidivism rate.
Los Angeles is home to the largest prison system in the United States. Sheriff Alex Villanueva said his department would stop transferring even the most dangerous criminals in the Los Angeles County jail to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In his explanation, Villanueva said he is aware of the million immigrant residents living in Los Angeles. He is also aware of the fear they have of reporting crimes to the police because it could mean being sent back to their home country.
“As the sheriff of Los Angeles County, I am responsible for everyone’s public safety, regardless of immigration status,” Villanueva said. “I will not allow an entire segment of the population to be afraid to report crimes to law enforcement and be forced, again, back into the shadows.”
ICE’s top official, Henry Lucero, who oversees arrests of illegal aliens within the United States, was furious at Villanueva’s comments during an interview with the Washington Examiner. He said it was a simple tactic, in itself false, designed to frighten residents by misinforming them about how ICE operates.
“As a federal law enforcement agency, ICE supports all individuals reporting crimes regardless of immigration status in the United States,” said Lucero.
The ICE official added that the real threat is to the 10 million residents of Los Angeles County, who could be victims of Villanueva’s release of highly dangerous foreign criminals.
As published in the official statement, Villanueva initially imposed a moratorium on transfers of illegal aliens in his jail to ICE in April, using as a pretext the threat posed by the transfer of prisoners from one facility to another amid the CCP Virus pandemic.
Now ICE will have to obtain a court order to transfer anyone into its custody rather than a request for civil immigration detention, as was previously the case.