DHS Freezes Weekly Report on Sanctuary Cities

AP File Photo/Rodrigo Abd

The Department of Homeland Security is temporarily stopping its weekly report which names-and-shames the “sanctuary cities” that obstruct the stepped-up federal repatriation of foreign criminals living in the United States.

The freeze is temporary and is intended to help clear up errors in the weekly reports, said David Lapan, the department’s deputy assistant secretary for media operations. “There is no time frame associated with that because it is based on the desire to make sure we have quality data, that the information we’re publishing is as accurate as it can be,” he said Tuesday, adding that “we have to come to a common definition of what counts as a ‘sanctuary city.'”

The agency noted some errors in its mid-February weekly report, saying:

Correction: Due to a data processing error, the Jan. 28 – Feb 03, 2017 Declined Detainer Outcome Report incorrectly attributed issued detainers to Franklin County, Iowa; Franklin County, New York; Franklin County, Pennsylvania; and Montgomery County, Iowa that were in fact issued to agencies outside of the respective county’s jurisdiction in similarly named locations. Additionally, detainers that appeared as being declined by Williamson County, TX and Bastrop County, TX were cases where the individual was transferred to another facility where they were released. Finally, detainers appeared as being declined by Chester County, PA and Richmond County, NC when those detainers were incorrectly issued to those locations. The subjects of those detainers were in different locations.

That quality-control task is made difficult because prisoners are sometimes moved from one jurisdiction to a second jurisdiction, which then fails to alert federal enforcement officials before the prisoners are released, Lapan said.

Also, some cities don’t like being named in the weekly report, and other cities “thought they were in compliance but ICE didn’t see it that way,” he added.

Officials want to be able to produce the report without relying on statements from city officials, he said, adding “we don’t have to rely on just what they said publicly.”

The weekly report is intended to name-and-shame the local “sanctuary cities” which refuse to tell federal officials when they are holding or will release an illegal alien who has been arrested for a local offense. If federal agencies know about the local detention of an illegal alien, they can send a “detainer” request asking the local police to keep the prisoner in jail until he can be picked up by federal officials and then sent home to Mexico, China, or another country. 

Here’s part of the report from the Feb. 11 to Feb. 17 report: 

As federal officials step up their repatriation of foreign migrants, many Democratic-run cities — including New York and Los Angeles — have declared themselves to be sanctuaries for illegal aliens, despite the increased civic and financial cost of hosting foreign criminals.

Those sanctuary cities often shelter illegal aliens because business and progressive groups gain greatly from the inflow of illegals who simultaneously serve as low-wage workers, welfare-funded consumers, customers for government services and — if eventually naturalized — as government-dependent voters.