The federal agency said in a statement that since November 2019, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office had released 29 individuals for whom the agency had filed written detainer requests. Detainers are requested by federal immigration enforcement so that local jurisdictions can keep immigrants in their custody who have been arrested on criminal charges and are believed to be "removable."
Among those released was 59-year-old Somalian national Hajir Muhammad who was arrested by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office on Dec. 27 for failing to register as a sex offender. ICE arrested Muhammad again on Jan. 6 and he is currently in custody pending deportation proceedings.
The ICE release also sought information about five other immigrants -- including a Mexican national accused of domestic violence, assault, falsification and menacing -- who it said were in an unknown location.
Rebecca Adducci, field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Michigan and Ohio, condemned the releases.
“When dangerous criminal aliens are released into the community, public safety is needlessly put at risk because of the individual’s propensity to re-offend," she said.
“ICE remains committed to arresting and removing criminal aliens in the interest of public safety and national security, despite local decisions to not honor detainers and jeopardize the safety of its citizens.”
In response to the ICE statement, the Franklin County Sheriff's Department told Fox News it was in the process of reviewing the agency's claims.
The announcement came as part of an apparent attempt to shame sanctuary jurisdictions, which refuse to honor ICE detainer requests.
On Friday, the agency called out Cook County, Illi., for releasing illegal immigrants who've been accused of crimes, claiming the county denied more than 1,000 detainer requests in the 2019 fiscal year alone.
The ICE release singled out the release of a South African national who was accused of indecent exposure and a Nicaraguan national who was arrested on domestic violence charges. The agency also noted that Mexican and Jordanian citizens could or have already been released by the county. Those suspects had been arrested on charges including aggravated domestic battery, strangulation and recklessly discharging a firearm.
ICE official Henry Lucero said those refusals kept both the agency and the public in the dark about criminal threats.
“The most concerning issue about working in an area that refuses to cooperate with ICE is not only that we do not know which criminal aliens are being released from custody, but the public doesn’t know either,” he said.