US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has reported 489 illegal immigrants with a criminal record, in violation of immigration law, were released from jails across North Carolina during the fiscal year 2019, despite having detainers placed on them.
“Yes. 489 detainers not honored this year in North Carolina,” an ICE spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email. “All of those are of persons criminally arrested by a law enforcement agency for a criminal offense beyond their violation of federal immigration law.”
A detainer is issued by ICE to law enforcement agencies “to provide notice of its intent to assume custody of an individual detained in federal, state, or local custody,” explained ICE on its website.
A detainer allows ICE to request a law enforcement agency to notify it 48 hours before an illegal alien is released from criminal custody and to further hold the alien for up to 48 hours to allow Home Land Security to take custody for removal purposes.
The count of 489 aliens released despite having detainers started in October 2018.
Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli condemned the release in a message on Twitter and said some of the illegal aliens released include those charged with sex offenses and homicide.
“Seriously NC??? And how does protecting… ‘the nearly 500 undocumented immigrants who have been released in FY19 despite a federal detainer include people charged with sex offenses, kidnapping, arson, and homicide.’ … keep NC safe? Oh yeah, it doesn’t,” he wrote on Twitter.
In July, The Epoch Times reported that during the previous 18 months, more than 331 illegal aliens were charged with 1,172 child rapes and child sexual assaults, according to data collected by an independent researcher.
James Johnson, who tracks the data on his website NCFIRE.info (North Carolinians For Immigration Reform and Enforcement), said he is only able to gather data from 30 of the state’s 100 counties, which means it’s likely the statewide count is significantly higher.
Johnson has tracked rapes and sexual assaults on children by illegal aliens since 2013, using original police reports and calling arresting agencies to verify immigration status. For the 54 months he collected data, illegal aliens were charged with 151 counts of rape/sexually assaulting a child in North Carolina.
Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report.