Trump administration issues list claiming unsafe immigrants released by sanctuary cities

Milwaukee County courthouse

On Monday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have said that the Travis County Sheriff's Office, located in Texas capital county, has released 142 illegal immigrants for whom immigration officials had issued detainers in a single week. Immigration detainers are a request from ICE to a jail or another local law enforcement agency to hold someone in violation of immigration law so they can be picked up. On Feb. 1, Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez's new ICE policy went into effect: she would only honor federal immigration detainers in cases where someone has been charged with murder, aggravated sexual assault or human smuggling. The Travis, Bastrop and Williamson County Jail are listed on the report, which covers requests that were declined during the week of January 28 to February 3.

The report also shows that the amount of detainers declined by Travis County officials has skyrocketed since Hernandez took over.

ICE officials will continue to compile a detainers list and release it weekly as part of a requirement in President Trump's January 25 executive order on immigration, a DHS spokesperson said in a news release. The people ICE sought were natives of Cambodia, Mexico and Guatemala.

ICE detainers have been a controversial issue for years, as several federal courts have ruled that local authorities are under no legal obligation to honor them.

"Our goal is to build cooperative, respectful relationships with our law enforcement partners", Homan said.




These counties, cities and local law enforcement agencies have decided not to cooperate with every detainer for fear that members of the community will be afraid to cooperate with police, even in cases where they are helping to prevent and stop crime. The governor pointed to undocumented immigrants released from jail with charges including sexual offenses against children, domestic violence and kidnapping.

The report states 3,083 detainers were issued nationwide, with 206 (around 6.7 percent) of those declined.

Monday's detainer report listed 10 jurisdictions that fail to comply with detainers "on a routine basis". It doesn't represent all the cases in which immigration authorities sought custody of people facing criminal charges, with major cities like NY and Los Angeles underrepresented on the list.

The Department of Homeland Security sent out its first "declined detainer" list, claiming it shows uncooperative cities are releasing unsafe criminals into the streets.

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