U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) revealed Thursday that the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office has released 29 criminal aliens, including a sex offender, after ignoring written detainer requests filed by the federal agency.
“When dangerous criminal aliens are released into the community, public safety is needlessly put at risk because of the individual’s propensity to re-offend,” said Rebecca Adducci, field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Michigan and Ohio, in a Thursday press release. “ICE remains committed to arresting and removing criminal aliens in the interest of public safety and national security, despite local decisions to not honor detainers and jeopardize the safety of its citizens.”
Among those released was Hajir Muhammud, a 59-year-old Somali national who was arrested by local law enforcement in December for failing to register as a Tier 1 sex offender. Muhammud is a convicted sex offender for crimes involving children and was released after Franklin County declined to uphold the ICE detainer.
He has since been arrested by ICE, but several criminal aliens released by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office are still at large, including Manuel Vazquez-Sanchez, a 25-year-old Mexican national who was arrested for domestic violence and assault. He was already removed from the U.S. on two different occasions.
In total, ICE said Franklin County released 29 criminal aliens who were arrested for various crimes, such as felony firearm possession, DUI, domestic violence, and assault.
“When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders onto the streets, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission,” ICE said in a statement. “This negatively impacts public safety and ICE’s efficiency in the apprehension of criminal aliens. Federal immigration laws authorize DHS to issue detainers and provide ICE broad authority to detain removable aliens.”
ICE’s Thursday announcement was the latest in a series of statements condemning sanctuary jurisdictions. For instance, the agency put out an alert last week about Cook County, Illinois, which released a whopping 1,070 criminal aliens in Fiscal Year 2019.
“The most concerning issue about working in an area that refuses to cooperate with ICE is not only that we do not know which criminal aliens are being released from custody, but the public doesn’t know either,” said Henry Lucero, ICE’s acting deputy executive associate director for ERO. “However, with the limited information ICE can verify, we know that police resources are being wasted, more people are being victimized, and it’s a matter of time until something more significant happens.”
In both cases, ICE said that “any local jurisdiction thinking that refusing to cooperate with ICE will result in a decrease in local immigration enforcement is mistaken.”
“Local jurisdictions that choose to not cooperate with ICE are likely to see an increase in ICE enforcement activity, as the agency has no choice but to conduct more at-large arrest operations,” said the agency.
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