Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced last week his agency will no longer transfer alien inmates from Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) jails to U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. The new policy now requires ICE to file a judicial warrant to mandate the transportation of an illegal alien from an LA county jail to immigration authorities.
Sheriff Villanueva’s announcement comes on the heels of a Fox News report that revealed that more than 25,000 criminal illegal aliens had been released from LASD detention centers since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2020. ICE officials shared their concerns about some of the worst foreign national offenders potentially affecting the Los Angeles area’s public safety and national security.
Unsurprisingly, since taking office, Sheriff Villanueva has implemented pro-sanctuary policies in his department. Sheriff Villanueva decreased the number of crimes eligible to transfer a criminal alien to ICE custody and has barred federal immigration authorities from establishing offices inside LASD incarceration facilities. Allowing ICE agents inside jails streamlined deporting immigration lawbreakers, preventing them from committing further crimes.
Sheriff Villanueva also actively helps illegal aliens hide from federal law enforcement. Last summer, he warned illegal aliens of an ICE operation in the Los Angeles area, and what measures unlawfully present migrants can take to avoid federal authorities.
In Fiscal Year 2019, the Los Angeles ICE field office arrested 6,657 aliens. Of those: 5,766 had prior criminal convictions, 418 had pending criminal charges, and 473 had other immigration violations. Earlier this summer, the same field office emphasized many of the criminal illegal immigrants that were apprehended were wanted for homicide, kidnapping, robbery, and sex-related crimes, or had prior convictions of those charges.
Cooperating with ICE would have removed more criminal aliens from Sheriff Villanueva’s jurisdiction and could have prevented subsequent crime victims. Unless Sheriff Villanueva reverses course, the lawful residents he is charged with protecting will continue to run the risk falling victim to preventable crimes by criminal aliens.