The Trump administration followed through on its pledge to shine a light on sanctuary cities, releasing on Monday its first report highlighting jurisdictions that don't notify federal authorities when illegal immigrants are released from custody.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) published the report, titled “Declined Detainer Outcome,” which was mandated by a Jan. 25 executive order issued by President Trump. The report focused on the week of Jan. 28 through Feb. 3.
The report comes amid national outrage over the rape of a 14-year-old Maryland girl allegedly by two illegal immigrants several years older than she.
The ICE report included examples of criminal charges associated with those released illegal immigrants such as drug possession, domestic violence and assaults, in addition to highlighting the jurisdictions that do not comply with detainers on a routine basis.
“When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect the public safety and carry out its mission.”
According to the Department of Homeland Security, the report will be issued weekly to highlight jurisdictions that have “declined to honor” ICE detainers or requests for notification.
ICE issues detainers to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to provide notice of its intent to assume custody of a removable alien. A detainer requests that the law enforcement agency notify ICE, ideally within at least 48 hours, before a removable alien is released from local custody so that ICE can assume custody.
“When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect the public safety and carry out its mission,” Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said.
Clark County, Nev., had the highest number of declined detainer requests at 51, followed by Nassau County, N.Y., at 38, and Cook County, Ill. at 13.
But Officer Michael Rodriguez of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in Clark County, Nev., said the report “unfairly portrays” the department as a “non-cooperative jurisdiction.”
“The LVMPD does, in fact, participate in the 287(g) program as a jail-based review of immigration status and has for many years,” Rodriguez said. “ICE is notified when a person in our custody has a detainer -- since January 2017, 99 inmates have been released to ICE’s custody.”
But according to DHS, a jurisdiction’s appearance on the report is not an “exclusive factor” in determining its level of cooperation with ICE, but rather intended to provide the public with information regarding criminal actions committed by aliens and jurisdictions that ignore ICE requests.
“Our goal is to build cooperative, respectful relationships with our law enforcement partners,” Homan said. “We will continue collaborating with them to help ensure that illegal aliens who may pose a threat to our communities are not released onto the streets to potentially harm individuals living within our communities.”