President Joe Biden’s “sanctuary country” orders have helped release from jail illegal aliens accused of sexual assault of a child and domestic violence, a lawsuit alleges.
In February, Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued orders that instruct Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents not to pursue illegal aliens for arrest and deportation unless they have been recently convicted of aggravated felonies, are terrorists, or known gang members.
Subsequently, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration — seeking a preliminary injunction — alleging that the sanctuary country orders, among other complaints, violate federal immigration law.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell denied Florida’s request for a preliminary injunction to stop the orders from being implemented, arguing that the orders are “interim policies” and therefore not final laws that the state can challenge.
Moody has since filed an appeal in the Eleventh Circuit, requesting that the court reverse Honeywell’s decision and grant a preliminary injunction to stop the orders.
In its appeal, Moody details two cases where the orders have resulted in the release of illegal aliens accused of child sex crimes and domestic violence:
In support of its motion, Florida provided several emails from ICE officials to Florida corrections officers. In those emails, ICE officials refused to take custody of criminal aliens who were scheduled to be released from prison — and they admitted that their only reason for doing so was the challenged memos. [Emphasis added]
Defendants have admitted that many of these aliens are subject to § 1226(c), and the behavior of these aliens is disturbing. One has repeatedly engaged in burglary and grand theft. Another is an aggravated stalker. And several have serious drug convictions, including selling and trafficking drugs like cocaine and amphetamine. [Emphasis added]
Florida provided other examples of aliens who, while not subject to § 1226(c), demonstrate the reckless nature of the challenged memos, and show that the memos apply to those in local custody, not just state custody. In Pasco County, for example, ICE has allowed the release of aliens accused of sexual assault of a minor and domestic violence (in that case, while the victim’s young children watched). [Emphasis added]
The allegations come as reports detail how criminal illegal aliens in Martin County and St. Lucie County, Florida, were being released into American communities rather than being turned over to ICE agents for arrest and deportation thanks to the orders.
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told WPTV 5 News that “close to 50 percent” of the criminal illegal aliens in his agency’s custody are having their ICE detainers dropped and law enforcement is not told why.
“We’ve had some problem with ICE dropping holds so we have people that have ICE holds and inexplicably they’re dropped,” Snyder said.
When first filing the lawsuit against the Biden administration, Moody named seven illegal alien convicts who were either set for release or had already been released from Florida state prisons as a result of the orders.
The illegal aliens had been convicted of burglary, cocaine trafficking, grand theft auto, heroin trafficking, credit card fraud, money laundering, and other crimes.
In response to the orders, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) directed a statewide crackdown on illegal immigration that requires state agencies to notify local law enforcement every time an illegal alien is released back into their communities.
The case is Florida v. the United States, No. 21-11715 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.