More than 200 illegal aliens were released back into communities by law enforcement rather than being handed over to federal authorities for deportation during the week of Jan. 28 to Feb. 3.
Of the 206 released, 90 had been convicted of a crime and 116 were charged with a crime, according to the first Declined Detainer Outcome Report issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A detainer is a request from ICE for local authorities to hold an inmate for up to 48 hours beyond the normal release time—to allow handover to ICE.
The report is part of the new reporting requirements outlined in President Donald Trump’s executive order on Jan. 25.
The crimes the 90 individuals had been convicted of include domestic violence, drug possession, arson, assault, driving under the influence, identity theft, indecent exposure, and rape.
The crimes the 116 individuals are charged with include drug trafficking, aggravated assault, homicide, domestic violence, sexual assault, kidnapping, and sex offense against a child.
“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,” said Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan in a statement.
All but 19 of the releases were in sanctuary jurisdictions. These are jurisdictions that have created policies that protect illegal aliens, including convicted criminals, from deportation. Most of the time that means local law enforcement refuse to hand criminals—who are in the country illegally—over to ICE.
The vast majority (149) of the declined detainers came from Texas, most notably the Travis City Jail in Travis, Texas.
ICE identifies 118 jurisdictions that have sanctuary policies. The Center for Immigration Studies identifies 300 sanctuary jurisdictions.
During the same week (Jan. 28 to Feb. 3), ICE issued 3,083 detainers throughout the country.
The top two counties where detainers were issued were Clark County, Nevada (51), and Nassau County, New York (38).
The number of detainers issued is expected to increase over the next several weeks as ICE field offices have been instructed to issue detainers on all removable aliens in the custody of local law enforcement.
Some field offices had ceased issuing detainers to known uncooperative jurisdictions, according to ICE.