by Jason Hopkins
An illegal alien accused of rape returned to the alleged victim’s house after authorities in Oklahoma ignored an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer request and released him Wednesday, the agency said.
Local authorities arrested Antonio Ulises Perez, a 38-year-old illegal alien from El Salvador, in Oklahoma County in September on the suspicion that he raped a woman. However, the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office did not honor a detainer request ICE lodged and allowed him to be released Wednesday, according to a Thursday ICE press release. Ulises Perez then immediately traveled to the woman’s house, ICE said.
“It is unconscionable that someone who is sworn to uphold the law would find it acceptable to release an alleged rapist who is illegally present in the U.S. back into the community when there are other options available under federal immigration law,” Marc Moore, the field office director for ICE Dallas, said in a statement Thursday.
“Within a few hours of being released, this illegal alien was back at the home of the rape victim where he was free to re-victimize her and harm other members of the community. Fortunately, ICE deportation officers were able to quickly locate this individual and safely take him back into custody,” Moore continued.
The Oklahoma City Police Department arrested Ulises Perez on Sept. 30. ICE conducted an in-person interview with him and lodged an immigration detainer request with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday and asked local officials to transfer custody. However, the sheriff’s office did not honor the detainer and released him Wednesday at around 3 a.m. from the Oklahoma County Jail. Authorities gave ICE about one hour’s notice before releasing him — not enough time, the agency said, to reach the jail and assume custody.
Ulises Perez went to the alleged victim’s home on the same day of his release, ICE said; he fled the scene when the woman contacted law enforcement. ICE deportation officers apprehended Ulises Perez in Oklahoma City Wednesday, and he remains in the custody of federal immigration authorities.
The agency is citing this as an example of the dangers posed to the community when local law enforcement does not cooperate with them.
“Unfortunately, this is not an isolated event. Over the past few months ago, Oklahoma County has routinely failed to honor ICE detainers by releasing criminal aliens back into the local community before ICE has the opportunity to take custody,” the agency’s press release said.
About 90% of all the individuals ICE apprehended during fiscal year 2019 either had a criminal conviction to their name or carried pending criminal charges; had illegally reentered the country after being deported, a felony offense; or were an “immigration fugitive subject to a final order of removal,” the agency said.
ICE detainer requests ask local officials to hold illegal aliens in their custody for no longer than 48 hours in order to allow federal immigration agents to make an apprehension and to properly notify agents if they plan to release the individual.
These detainer requests are tantamount to ICE’s job. About 70% of all ICE arrests take place after the agency is notified about an illegal alien being released from local custody. The agency said it lodged over 160,000 detainer requests with local agencies in fiscal year 2019.
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Jason Hopkins is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.