Sanctuary jurisdictions across the U.S. ignored 17,000 requests to detain illegal aliens eligible for deportation, the overwhelming majority of whom had prior criminal records, in less than two years according to a new report.
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, there are approximately 300 sanctuary jurisdictions, from cities to counties to states, that hinder immigration law enforcement and protect dangerous illegal aliens from deportation. Sixty-eight percent of the 17,000 requests were made for illegal aliens with criminal histories.
The Center considers California, Rhode Island, Colorado, and New Mexico sanctuary states. North Dakota is also marked on the Center’s map as a sanctuary, but U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement told the Center on background that the state has been cooperative.
“Over the 19-month period from January 1, 2014, to September 30, 2015, more than 17,000 detainers were rejected by these jurisdictions. Of these, about 11,800 detainers, or 68 percent, were issued for individuals with a prior criminal history,” Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughan wrote.
Despite violating federal law, sanctuary jurisdictions continue to shield illegal aliens from deportation as the Obama administration restricts ICE detainer requests.
“According to ICE statistics, since the Obama administration implemented the new Priority Enforcement Program in July 2015 restricting ICE use of detainers, the number of rejected detainers has declined. However, the number of detainers issued by ICE also has declined in 2016, so it is not clear if the new policies are a factor,” she continued. “It is apparent that most of the sanctuary policies remain in place, raising concerns that the Priority Enforcement Program has failed as a response to the sanctuary problem, and has simply resulted in fewer criminal aliens being deported.”
The Department of Justice delayed the release of a report confirming that many sanctuary jurisdictions violate federal laws, drawing strong condemnation and calls to strip them of the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars they receive from federal funding.
“It is a simple fact that aliens lawfully here, and of course those unlawfully here, must be deported promptly upon their conviction for criminal offenses. Failure to do so places whole communities at risk, especially immigrant communities in those sanctuary jurisdictions,” Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions said.
Yet the Obama Administration has been totally ineffective in confronting these policies that dramatically undermine the enforcement of our immigration laws. Too often, we have heard comments such as ‘sanctuary cities have a place in America’ to justify this unjustifiable practice. The Obama Administration has a plain duty to cut off law enforcement funds to any jurisdiction that violates this responsibility to ensure the deportation of criminal aliens.
But the Republican-controlled Senate failed to strip funding from lawless sanctuary jurisdictions in July.