Cities and counties that refuse to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers “put politics before public safety” and increase the likelihood people in those areas will either get hurt or victimized.
This, according a recent news release ICE put on its website.
As The Tennessee Star has reported, members of one influential Nashville group want city officials to no longer cooperate with ICE. Nashville-Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall recently announced his office will no longer contract to house ICE detainees under an agreement with the US. Marshals.
But ICE officials say that’s misguided.
“Sanctuary policies leave ICE with no choice but to increase enforcement in neighborhoods and workplaces to locate and arrest these persons while they are at-large – increasing the likelihood that other individuals previously not targeted for arrest will be taken into ICE custody,” according to ICE.
“It is safer for everyone if ICE takes custody of an alien in the controlled environment of another law enforcement agency as opposed to visiting an alien’s residence, place of work, or other public area. Arresting a criminal in the safety, security, and privacy of a jail is always the best option.”
ICE officials went on to describe what happens when law enforcement agencies don’t honor ICE detainers.
“These individuals, who often have significant criminal histories, are released onto the street, presenting a potential public safety threat,” ICE officials said.
“When ICE Fugitive Operations officers have to go out into the community to proactively locate these criminal aliens, regardless of the precautions they take, it needlessly puts our personnel and potentially innocent bystanders in harm’s way.”
Approximately, 70 percent of ICE arrests happen after ICE is notified that an illegal alien is released from local jails or state prisons. In fiscal year 2019, ICE lodged more than 160,000 detainers with local law enforcement agencies, according to ICE.
Nationally, approximately 90 percent of all people arrested by ICE during fiscal year 2019 had a criminal conviction, a pending criminal charge, had illegally re-entered the United States after being previously removed (a federal felony), or were an immigration fugitive subject to a final order of removal, ICE officials added.
As The Star reported last summer, members of the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition put out a manifesto describing how they want Metro Nashville officials to treat illegal immigrants, and it demands taxpayers subsidize new programs to protect them from deportation.
This document, titled, Beyond Welcoming: A Platform for Immigrant Inclusion for the Next Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County, also disparages ICE agents as persecutors who set out to destroy immigrant families.
Then there’s Sheriff Hall’s plan to no longer house ICE detainees.
A sheriff’s spokeswoman said ICE detention officers will know when someone is released, and ICE will have an opportunity to pick the detainee up prior to they’re getting released from jail.
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