September 06, 2013
Judicial Watch

A director at the Homeland Security agency charged with immigration enforcement has publicly guaranteed that illegal aliens arrested by local police and reported to the feds won’t automatically be deported.

It may seem preposterous but this is reality in the Obama Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The story comes out of King County in Washington State. Under a federal agreement virtually all illegal aliens held at the county jail are put on immigration holds for up to 48 hours. This presumably gives federal authorities the opportunity to initiate deportation procedures.

But lawmakers in the sprawling Puget Sound county of about 2 million residents are considering an ordinance that would limit the number of immigration detainers. One county councilman explains why in a local news report. “Every major immigrant and refugee and minority community in the entirety of King County has written us and said, ‘Will you please try to put the brakes on what ICE is able to do?’”

Caving into the open borders movement, in mid-June the county introduced the ordinance that’s ignited heated debate at commission meetings and continues getting deferred by indecisive lawmakers. The measure would make it a county policy to only honor immigration hold requests for individuals who have been convicted of violent or serious crimes. The proposed law was last discussed at a commission meeting last week.

The Seattle director of enforcement and removal operations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attended the meeting to assure county officials that the government won’t deport illegal immigrants accused of minor crimes. This is what the ICE director, Nathalie Asher, actually told commissioners, according to a local news report: “A detainer does not automatically equal a deportation, it just does not.”

So here we have the top official in charge of a major region’s immigration enforcement publicly admitting that her agency isn’t doing its job. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so outrageous. Members of the King County Commission listened attentively, but took no action. They will again consider the ordinance to shield illegal aliens from deportation in a few weeks.