U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) executives are reallocating resources to increase enforcement efforts in “uncooperative jurisdictions” where criminal aliens are released back onto the streets by local jail officials.
Acting ICE Director Thomas D. Homan said he is going to deploy more officers and agents to “sanctuary cities” to arrest illegal criminals, the Washington Examiner reported. In an interview with the Examiner, he praised the focus on law enforcement from President Donald Trump saying, “What this president has done is taken the handcuffs off of law enforcement officers who are charged with enforcing immigration laws.”
He said the president’s focus resulted in a 70 percent drop of border apprehensions, leaving immigration officers to place more emphasis on interior enforcement against criminal aliens. He said his focus is now on finding criminal aliens locked up in jails, illegally working jobs, and those on the run from law enforcement.
The Examiner reported that a “key target” is the 300-plus sanctuary cities and counties that refuse to cooperate with ICE officials on detainer requests. Director Homan blasted these jurisdictions saying “In the America I grew up in, cities didn’t shield people who violated the law.”
ICE officials clarified the director’s comments and said they are not planning an operation involving sanctuary cities. “As Director Homan stated, uncooperative jurisdictions have a higher rate of criminal alien releases than in places that honor ICE detainers,” an ICE official told Breitbart Texas on condition of anonymity. “As a result, ICE is forced to focus additional resources to conduct at-large arrests in the field in these non-cooperative areas.”
The official said it is less about the political battle of sanctuary cities and more about applying law enforcement resources to address higher numbers of criminal aliens released from jail.
As an example, the release of a previously deported violent criminal alien in Travis County, Texas, forced ICE Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) officers to track down the man at his home and place him under arrest. The county jail, under the command of Travis County Sheriff “Sanctuary Sally” Hernandez, released the criminal alien despite the issuance of an immigration detainer, Breitbart Texas reported on Wednesday.
Sheriff’s office officials confirmed to Breitbart Texas they received the immigration detainer but only held the man for 6 hours before releasing him on a personal recognizance bond on a charge of Assault Causing Bodily Injury and a city ordinance violation.
Having to arrest a criminal alien at their home, or in public, puts ICE officers and the public in more danger than a simple transfer of custody in a secure jail setting, ICE officials previously said to Breitbart Texas.
Director Homan told the Examiner that sanctuary city policies actually create more fear in the immigrant communities when officers are forced to go into someone’s home to make the arrest.
“I’m going to arrest him and anybody else with him because there is no population off the table any more. So if you really want to tap down the fear in the immigrant community, I would think the counties would want me in their jails,” he explained. “We’re going to enforce the laws on the books without apology, we’ll continue to prioritize what we do. But it’s not OK to violate the laws of this country anymore, you’re going to be held accountable.”.