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Sanctuary Travis County Released 142 Criminal Aliens in Week, Says ICE

20 March 2017, 11:39 | Darin Griffith

Sanctuary Travis County Released 142 Criminal Aliens in Week, Says ICE

CARMEN FARIÑA

President Trump ordered the department to publish a weekly list of all detention requests turned down by local jails, listing the agency, the undocumented immigrants and the charges they face.

According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Travis County has declined 142 of 206, or roughly 69%, of these detainer requests between January 28 to February 3, 2017.

The report named multiple California law enforcement agencies, including a few in Los Angeles County, that had also failed to honor detainers.

What is a Declined Detainer?

Every law enforcement agency shares biometric data, like fingerprints, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which shares them with ICE. This undermines ICE's ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission. ICE described what a detainer is in their latest release. Avideh Moussavian, a staff lawyer at NILC, said police often cooperate with federal law enforcement agencies on criminal matters, but emphasized that immigration violations are civil, not criminal. The FBI shares this information with ICE.

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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 President Donald Trump's executive order, entitled "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States", which he signed on January 25, he declared that, "Interior enforcement of our Nation's immigration laws is critically important to the national security and public safety of the United States".

"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", wrote Abbott in a statement. The release is meant to "highlight jurisdictions that choose not to cooperate with ICE detainers or requests for notification, therefore potentially endangering Americans", the agency said in a news release.

Some local law enforcement agencies and cities have instituted policies of not cooperating with every detainer in part because of concern about relationships with the community. "We will continue collaborating with them to help ensure that illegal aliens who may pose a threat to our communities are not released onto the streets to potentially harm individuals living within our communities".

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. A jurisdiction's appearance on this report is not an exclusive factor in determining a jurisdiction's level of cooperation with ICE.



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