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Travis County Tops ICE List Of Jurisdictions Declining Immigration Detainers

20 March, 2017, 23:37 | Author: Mae Harvey
  • A girl watches during a workshop for immigrants to make a preparedness plan in case they are confronted by immigration officials at a Los Angeles charter school where 48-year-old father of four Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez was recently arrested by ICE agen

"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".

This Monday, ICE has released its first weekly Declined Detainer report. 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 risky and should be criminal in itself.

The Department of Homeland Security today issued the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Declined Detainer Outcome Report required by President Donald J. Trump's Executive Order, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, signed on January 25. As NPR's John Burnett reports, "While 206 of these detainers were ignored, that represents less than 10 percent of the 3,083 detainer requests that were issued nationwide". Bastrop County declined three requests and Williamson County declined four.

In a fact sheet sent by the DHS in connection with the detainer report, ICE explains that the data is based on information it compiles after a request is declined. "Texas will act to put an end to sanctuary policies that put the lives of our citizens at risk". The jurisdictions listed include Los Angeles, Colorado, New York and Travis County, Texas.

In his January 25 executive order intensifying deportation efforts, President Trump said the Homeland Security secretary should compile a list of the agencies that refused to detain immigrants past the time they are supposed to be released and the crimes those immigrants are accused of, and make it public "on a weekly basis".

In a move to put public pressure on "sanctuary cities", the Department of Homeland Security on Monday published a list of 118 localities that have refused to cooperate with federal requests to detain undocumented immigrants.

The charges range from homicide and rape to driving violations and probation violations.

A detainer becomes declined when law enforcement agencies do not honor ICE's detainer, and continue to release the "criminal alien" back into the public, according to DHS. Under President Barack Obama, undocumented immigrants convicted of serious crimes were considered priorities for deportation. There is also concern that because people may only be charged with a crime and not convicted, they could be deported before the conclusion of a trial. Trump changed those priorities to include undocumented immigrants accused of any crime.

"This is an effort for us to be transparent with regards to how we conduct our enforcement operations and the public safety from those agencies that don't cooperate with those enforcement efforts", said a senior DHS official in a briefing call with reporters.

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