September 16, 2020
John Binder

Fairfax County, Virginia, has freed more than 900 criminal illegal aliens in less than two years, an investigation reveals.

From May 2018 to May 2020, Fairfax County — the wealthy suburb of Washington, D.C. — received 929 detainers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to turn arrested illegal aliens over to their custody so they would not be released back into the community.

An investigation by the Immigration Reform Law Insitute (IRLI) finds that the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office only honored 14 of the ICE detainers filed in that period — indicating they released 915 criminal illegal aliens into the community rather than hand them over to ICE agents.

Data from ICE officials shows that up to 80 percent of illegal aliens freed by sanctuary jurisdictions go on to commit additional crimes, victimizing more Americans, after their release.

IRLI Executive Director Dale Wilcox told SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Tonight that although Fairfax County does not consider itself a sanctuary jurisdiction, local officials have doubled down in recent years on policies shielding illegal aliens from arrest and deportation.

“The irony of this is that the Board of Supervisors, if you go to their website, they actually have a statement on there that they are not a sanctuary county,” Wilcox said. “I don’t know what qualifies you as a sanctuary county if you do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities and turn over criminal aliens.”

“Not only will they not honor ICE detainer requests, but they’ve prohibited ICE officials from county buildings and they’ve encouraged local prosecutors and local officers to release individuals with summonses rather than arresting and booking them so that their fingerprints don’t go into the system which alerts the FBI who alerts DHS,” Wilcox continued.

In January 2018, following pressure from open borders groups, Fairfax County officials canceled their agreement with ICE that swiftly turned arrested illegal aliens over to their custody. Instead, Fairfax County instituted a policy that requires ICE to obtain a criminal detainer issued by a court.

Though ICE agents have authority under existing federal immigration law to issue detainers, Fairfax County will only accept the detainers if they are signed by a judge or magistrate — a common sanctuary policy that allows local jurisdictions, like Los Angeles County, California, to avoid responsibility for releasing illegal aliens in communities.

Likewise, in May, Fairfax County officials implemented a policy banning law enforcement officers from complying with ICE detainers. The policy effectively mandates that arrested illegal aliens be released from local custody.

IRLI investigators found similar sanctuary protections for illegal aliens in Montgomery County, Maryland. Despite claiming to have dropped their sanctuary policies, an IRLI investigation discovered cases where Montgomery County officials gave ICE agents less than half an hour notice before releasing an illegal alien back into the community.

From November 2019 to June, Montgomery County booked at least 84 criminal illegal aliens into their custody. Only 56 ICE detainers placed on those 84 illegal aliens were deemed “valid” by Montgomery County officials.