The government has failed to keep tabs of millions of illegal immigrants who could pose a threat to national security and public safety, according to a Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) report.
The report found that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may have missed opportunities “to identify, apprehend, and adjudicate the status of aliens posing the highest risk to public safety and national security.”
Auditors determined the problems at ICE resulted from “limited program oversight and weak management controls,” but were compounded by local jurisdictions failing to cooperate with federal immigration authorities or preventing ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) agents from screening criminal immigrants, thereby risking national security.
The OIG found that from January 2014 through May 2017, 675 jurisdictions nationwide declined to honor more than 29,269 ICE requests to detain immigrants after they were released from jail.
“When a state or local law enforcement agency declines to transfer custody of a removable criminal alien to ICE, the released alien may put the public and ERO personnel at risk,” the auditors stated.
Although Marion County, Indiana last year decided it would not comply with ICE detention requests, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill formally lodged his opposition to the agreement between the county and the ACLU that established the policy.
“Establishing a policy that requires law enforcement personnel to not cooperate with each other not only violates Indiana law but jeopardizes public safety,” Hill wrote in an email to the Indianapolis Star.
Recent cases bolster Hill’s argument that sanctuary policies pose a threat to all citizens.
Just this week, ICE and ERO officers arrested 22 criminal aliens and immigration violators in Chicago, which is a sanctuary city, during a three-day enforcement action, which ended Monday.
Among six criminal aliens who had been released back into their communities after local law enforcement failed to honor an immigration detainer was a 20-year-old Mexican who had been previously convicted of battery and also is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiary with two extensions.
And then there is the case of Boris Antonio Calderon-Guardado, a criminal alien from El Salvador who has been arrested at least four times in multiple Maryland counties since June of 2016 and was released from jail despite a detention request being issued in 2017.
First arrested by arrested at the Texas border in 2015, he has been charged with a variety of crimes from burglary to vehicle theft to possession of a weapon.
Arrested and released again in February 2017, he was caught stealing last month, posted bond and local authorities “were under the impression he was released again,” according to FOX5-DC.
Even the alleged criminals are at risk if jurisdictions refuse cooperate.
In Maryland, local officials ignored a detainer issued last October from ICE in order to release Jose Herrera, an alleged MS-13 gang member arrested on trespassing and burglary charges.
When Herrera did not appear for his court date in December, a warrant was issued and he was arrested again on December 22. According to WJLA-TV, he posted a $100 bond and was, once again, released despite a pending ICE detainer. Two days later, Herrera was found dead in a vacant lot with multiple gunshot wounds to his head.