Sanctuaries Freeze Out Feds; ICE Fires Back

Department of Homeland Security documents reveal that hundreds of counties denied Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests for criminal illegal aliens in the first quarter of fiscal year 2017.

Leading the pack of local jurisdictions denying detainers were Ventura County, Calif. (188); Miami-Dade, Fla. (93); Denver, Colo. (74); Clark, Nev. (68); and Los Angeles (57). See list of the top 50 counties compiled by Judicial Watch.

A total of 284 detainers were declined during the first three months of fiscal year 2017, the most recent period reported by ICE. Criminal offenses ranged from various forms of assault (16); to drug- and alcohol-related charges (39); to weapons charges and crimes against persons and property (18).

Most of the aliens had prior criminal records, indicating a long-standing pattern of local authorities failing to cooperate with ICE, weak federal enforcement, or both.

Such dereliction of duty has consequences. Last month, an illegal alien pleaded guilty to felony drunken driving in the traffic death of a Kansas deputy sheriff. Sanctuary policies in two cities had allowed the previously convicted alien to dodge deportation.

Cracking down on sanctuary cities that ignore or only selectively comply with federal detainer requests, the Trump administration directed ICE agents last month to make large-scale arrests of illegal immigrants in some of those jurisdictions.

Of the 498 aliens arrested in “Operation Safe City,” 64 percent had previous criminal convictions. Notably, 104 of the arrestees had been previously deported.

California recently declared the entire state a sanctuary – a move that further blurs legal and illegal residency and will surely increase ICE noncompliance numbers there. Texas, meantime, enacted a law banning sanctuary policies in the Lone Star State.

In Minneapolis, Minn., local actions went beyond a simple lack of cooperation to outright obstruction. According to a March 21, 2017, ICE email: “Hennepin County Adult Detention Center released an alien out the front door of the jail as an ICE officer was waiting in their sally port to take him into custody.”

According to DHS policy, “ICE places detainers on aliens who have been arrested on local criminal charges and for whom ICE possesses probable cause to believe that they are removable from the United States, so that ICE can take custody of the alien when he or she is released from local custody.

“When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission.”

See list of uncooperative counties here.


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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    they are ready to incarcerate american citizens here for minor offenses while they let the illegals criminals get away,what is behind that all,???? they only think of illegals and foreigners, and undocumented people here in this country,

  2. avatar

    Can someone explain please why our county is on one list but not on the second list?


    arapahoe county; co

  3. avatar

    why don’t sessions do something these people don’t run this country time to get this thing right

  4. avatar

    President Trump, AG Sessions need to come down hard in this fight.. they need to get these loony left judges OFF the bench and get someone in place who actually cares about this country and STOP protecting and harboring illegal aliens.. they are destroying this country… President Trump may need to push his weight around hard in this fight… It is so obvious that these loony judges hate President Trump and do not want him to succeed as president.. they along with the democrats and rinos are doing everything they can to cause trouble for Trump.. constantly attacking him and his administration

  5. avatar

    I bet Napa Valley is sure sorry they allowed the illegal immigrant who set fire causing death and destruction to stay for a safer community.

    • avatar

      President Trump has tried to crush, as you say, these sanctuary cities. He does NOT have the power. The judicial system has blocked most efforts.

      • avatar

        Deborah, I believe he does have the power but as you acknowledge the courts are thwarting him and usually by overstepping their authority as the judges in Hawaii and Washington state did calling his ban on refugees unconstitutional and made their claim effective nationwide. When the courts blocked one of Obama’s actions he just ignored the court and did what he wanted. Trump respects our system and works within it.

        • avatar

          You are correct, and so far, the democrats and judicial department not only thwart the law, but make it up as they go along. The Obama appointed judge in Hawaii has no right to make his ruling cover nationwide, let alone his own little island. These idiots are just tightening the noose around their own necks.

    • avatar

      He has tried and everything he tries to do, there is some LOONY liberal judge blocking him.. these judges do NOT care about this country or the American Citizens.. they care more about the illegal aliens and protecting them… they need to be removed from the bench!!! they will do nothing but continually cause Trump problems if they aren’t removed… It is so obvious that these judges have their own agenda to create a lot of trouble for this president, because they hate president Trump..