Trump pressures 'sanctuary cities' that won't hold undocumented immigrants

CARMEN FARIÑA

CARMEN FARIÑA

The Department of Homeland Security made good Monday on a Trump administration promise to publicly shame cities and counties that don't cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The governor placed blame for the releases at the feet of Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez and her policy of only approving ICE detainer requests for inmates with specific criminal charges.

In the report, DHS lays out the type of crime for which the individual was either charged or convicted, where they were arrested and the request was declined.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issues detainers to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to provide notice of its intent to assume custody of a removable alien detained in federal, state, or local custody.

Foreign nationals are arrested in February during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles.

The other California locations where detainer requests were declined were: the Santa Rita jail in Alameda County; Madera County Department of Corrections; the Anaheim city jail in Orange County; the Sacramento County jail; the Santa Barbara County jail; and the Santa Clara County main jail. ICE officials requested that the local authorities hold onto those people for up to 48 hours - a request known as a "detainer" - but the requests were denied. "Our goal is to build cooperative, respectful relationships with our law enforcement partners". Under President Barack Obama, undocumented immigrants convicted of serious crimes were considered priorities for deportation.

Philly's Cinco de Mayo celebration cancelled over fears of immigration crackdown
The main target of the Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) raids are people with criminal records and suspected gang members. Almost 250 people across Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia were reportedly arrested by ICE last week.

There are also concerns about due process. According to an ICE official, that is the date they were made aware that the 2010 detainer had not been honored. That means the Southern Nevada County received the most detainers among "jurisdictions that do not comply with detainers on a routine basis", the report said.

Trump said the jurisdictions are putting US citizens at risk by releasing criminals who should be deported, and who in some cases have committed additional crimes after being released from jail.

The 206 declined detainers were noted in the week of January 28, but some of the detainers were issued long before Trump became president, including back to 2014.

"The Travis County Sheriff's decision to deny ICE detainer requests and release back into our communities criminals charged with heinous crimes - including sexual offenses against children, domestic violence and kidnapping - is unsafe and should be criminal in itself". DHS explained that the data only covers when a detainer was confirmed to be declined.

Of those released, the crimes they are accused of committing include, but are not limited to, sexual assault, aggravated assault, domestic violence and robbery.

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