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340 Sanctuaries Release 9,295 Criminals

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Across the U.S., there are 340 cities, counties, and states that are considered “sanctuary cities”. These jurisdiction protect criminal aliens from deportation by refusing to comply with ICE detainers or otherwise impede open communication and information exchanges between their employees or officers and federal immigration agents.

Jessica VaughanBryan Griffith, and Marguerite Telford report: The number of jurisdictions that are obstructing immigration enforcement has grown to roughly 340, according to the Department of Homeland Security.1 This has resulted in the release by local authorities of approximately 1,000 criminal aliens per month.

According to an updated report prepared by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for Congress, between January 1 and September 30, 2014, local sanctuaries released 9,295 alien offenders that ICE was seeking to deport. More than 600 people were released at least twice.

Out of these, 5,947 of the criminal aliens (62 percent) had significant prior criminal histories or other public safety concerns even before the arrest that led to a detainer. Fifty-eight percent of those with a prior history of concern had prior felony charges or convictions; 37 percent had serious prior misdemeanor charges, and 5 percent had multiple prior misdemeanors.

An alarming number — 2,320 — of the total number of released offenders were subsequently arrested within the time period studied for new crimes after they were released by the sanctuaries.

One of these is Victor Aureliano Hernandez Ramirez2 who, together with an accomplice, was arrested in July 2015 for raping and then bludgeoning 64-year-old Marilyn Pharis, of Santa Maria, Calif. She died eight days later. Ramirez had been arrested for battery in May 2014 and was in the custody of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff. ICE issued a detainer in order to begin the deportation process after the charges were resolved, but the sheriff did not comply, apparently in accordance with California’s state sanctuary law that went into effect on January 1, 2014.3

ICE was not able to re-apprehend most of the offenders released by the sanctuaries. As of last year, 6,460 (69 percent) were still at large. Of those still at large, 1,377 (20 percent) had another criminal arrest following the one that resulted in the ICE detainer.

One violent illegal alien offender who is now at large because of a local sanctuary policy is Francisco Javier Chavez. In August 2015, Chavez was arrested for brutally beating the two-year-old daughter of his girlfriend, breaking a leg and both of her arms.4 Chavez has a long rap sheet, including felony drug and drunk driving convictions and a prior deportation. ICE issued a detainer, but the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department released him anyway after he posted bail, even though California’s law would have permitted them to hold him.

Of the 6,460 criminal aliens who were who were still at large during the time period studied, 3,802 (58 percent) had prior felonies or violent misdemeanors.

New Sanctuary Listings

In July, the Center for Immigration Studies reported that ICE had identified 276 jurisdictions that, as of September 2014, had policies obstructing immigration enforcement, primarily policies to ignore ICE detainers.5 ICE updated this list in December 2014 to add another nine jurisdictions that adopted sanctuary policies. They are:

  • Lafayette Parish, La.
  • Rio Arriba, N.M.
  • Prince George’s County, Md.
  • Montgomery County, Md.
  • Douglas County, Neb.
  • All New Mexico counties
  • Northampton, Mass.
  • Chesterfield County, Va.
  • Clayton County, Ga.

These jurisdictions have been added to our map of sanctuaries.6 No jurisdictions were removed from the list by ICE.

A DHS spokesperson confirmed to me on October 5, 2015, that roughly 340 jurisdictions had adopted non-cooperation policies, but that some of those jurisdictions had recently revised their sanctuary policies to allow at least some cooperation with ICE. The spokesperson declined to provide either a list of the 340 total non-cooperative jurisdictions or a list of the ones that had allegedly improved their policies….(read more)

Source: Center for Immigration Studies

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