The instances of law enforcement officials ignoring federal immigration detainers that would keep criminal illegal immigrants in custody is on the rise in Massachusetts.
In a bombshell report by the Boston Herald, a review of the statistics reveals the increasing instances where local police in the Boston-area simply defy the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency’s detainers for illegal immigrants has vastly increased through the over the past few years.
The data, obtained from ICE by the Herald, shows the Boston ICE office, which covers all of New England, saw 59 of its requests to hold arrested immigrants denied last year. That’s up from 56 in 2015 and just 18 in 2014.
Meanwhile, the denial rate of ICE detainers nationally has plummeted, from 10,701 in 2014 and 8,546 in 2015 to 2,008 last year.
In 2016, the Herald revealed in a report that Massachusetts had deported the least number of illegal immigrants out of every state in the US, with just 26.9 percent of illegal immigrants being deported.
Compare that percentage with the national average of illegal immigrants who are deported out of the country, 46.4 percent.
The Herald says the denial to detain illegal immigrants until ICE can take custody has partly been due to the growing number of regions in the state that call themselves ‘sanctuary cities’ and shield illegal immigrants from federal immigration law.
The increase in Boston-area ICE denials coincides with the enactment of sanctuary policies in many cities that shield noncriminal immigrants from deportation, as well as state court decisions deeming that suspects cannot be held without bail just because ICE has issued a civil detainer request for them.
But, not every law enforcement agency in Massachusetts is on-board with the pro-illegal immigration trend.
Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said that by local authorities ignoring detainers on illegal immigrants from ICE, they are breaking the long-held tradition of cooperation between local and federal officials.
“It would completely go against the grain of what I believe we ought to be doing,” Hodgson told the Herald. “Which is supporting one another with resources, fulfilling the request when another agency identifies that this person is of concern based on what they see.”
Hodgson has most recently said he would help build a border wall, which President-elect Donald Trump has promised to begin building after his inauguration, using inmates from his county’s jail, as Breitbart News reported.
The sanctuary city game and local authorities’ refusal to work with federal immigration agencies could soon be coming to an end with Trump’s oath of office just around the corner. Trump has repeatedly said that under his administration, sanctuary cities will be stripped of federal funding if they continue to ignore federal immigration law.
John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.