Outlaws becoming 'main beneficiaries' of non-cooperation policies

Published: 17 hours ago PAUL BREMMER

Law enforcement agencies in New York City declined 12 detainers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the week of Feb. 4 to Feb. 10, according to ICE’s latest Weekly Declined Detainer Outcome Report.

The Big Apple was by far the jurisdiction with the most declined detainers during the period. There were four declined detainers in Orange County, California, and three in Washington, D.C., the second and third most, respectively. Overall, 47 ICE detainers were recorded as declined throughout the country from Feb. 4 to Feb. 10.

ICE routinely issues detainers to state and local law enforcement agencies to notify them of its intent to assume custody of an illegal alien currently being detained in state or local custody on criminal charges.

The detainer requests that the law enforcement agency notify ICE as early as possible, ideally at least 48 hours in advance, before a deportable alien is released from custody. It also asks the state or local jurisdiction to hold onto the alien for up to 48 hours so Department of Homeland Security agents have time to get there and take the alien into custody.

However, many law enforcement agencies refuse to comply with ICE detainers, instead releasing deportable criminal aliens back into their communities. Some simply snub ICE, while others are bound by state or local ordinances or policies that restrict or prohibit cooperation with ICE. Such policies are only one type of “sanctuary policy” that help define a jurisdiction as a sanctuary city or sanctuary county.

ICE lists 152 jurisdictions that have explicitly enacted policies limiting their cooperation with ICE detainers. ICE emphasizes the list is based on public announcements, news report statements and publicly disclosed policies, so there may be more jurisdictions that do not cooperate with ICE.

New York City is among the uncooperative jurisdictions, having passed a local law in November 2014 that states the police department will not honor ICE detainers. Orange County and Washington, D.C. also have policies that limit cooperation with ICE. In addition to the many cities and counties on the list, ICE also lists the entire states of California and Connecticut as being uncooperative.

ICE began issuing Weekly Declined Detainer Outcome Reports last week in pursuance of President Trump’s January executive order “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.”

The agency has issued only two reports so far; the first one covered the week from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3. It listed 206 declined detainers throughout the country, with 142 from Travis County, Texas alone. The Travis County sheriff’s office has a policy of only accepting detainers when accompanied by a court order or when the subject of the request is charged with or has been convicted of capital murder, first degree murder, aggravated sexual assault or continuous smuggling of persons.

Although all detainer requests in the ICE reports were recorded as declined during the specified weeks in January and February 2017, many were issued earlier, usually in 2015 or 2016.ICE listed one notable criminal activity, either a charge or conviction, associated with each individual whose detainer was declined. The activities included such crimes as assault, robbery, domestic violence, burglary, sexual assault, weapons possession and driving under the influence.

Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, welcomes the addition of these declined detainer reports to the public realm.

“I think it’s really important information for the public to have so that we can have an informed debate over the public safety problems created by sanctuaries,” Vaughan told WND. “It’s clear that the main beneficiaries of sanctuary policies are criminal aliens, many of them with very serious criminal histories.”

Vaughan, who has previously testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the threats sanctuary cities pose to public safety, noted politicians in sanctuary jurisdictions often say ICE wants to deport harmless people who are good for the community, but the list of crimes committed by released aliens puts that argument to bed.

“I think this shows exactly who is being shielded by these policies, and they are people who should clearly be a priority for deportation,” she asserted.

Vaughan believes the reports will, in some cases, pressure sanctuary cities and counties to start complying with ICE detainers. She knows this because of the reaction CIS has received from publishing ICE’s list of sanctuary jurisdictions over the last few years.

“We’ve gotten tremendous feedback from agencies, some of whom didn’t realize the impact of their policy or that there was another way they could do it,” Vaughan revealed. “Sometimes it was because citizens in these areas saw it and raised a stink with their local lawmakers. There are a couple of cases I know of where new sheriffs have been elected because they promised to overturn the sanctuary policies of their predecessors.”

Overall, Vaughan applauds the Trump administration for its willingness to publicly expose sanctuary jurisdictions.

“In general, this kind of transparency is a big improvement over past administrations and tells me that the Trump administration is confident that its policies and its approach are going to be popular with the public and that they will withstand public scrutiny,” she said.