Help Wanted: More Jailers to Keep Criminal Aliens Off Streets

Foreign nationals charged with sexual battery, “lewd and lascivious molestation” and sexual misconduct with a minor were kept behind bars last month, thanks to alert local law-enforcement officers.

Exercising authority through 287(g) agreements with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) allows police agencies that have had special training from federal immigration enforcement officers to identify criminal aliens in their custody and hold them for up to 48 hours after their sentence ends with ICE detainers.

The number of local law-enforcement agencies in the 287(g) program has increased from 36 when President Donald Trump took office to 142 today. That’s the good news.

But as FAIR noted earlier this year, it remains a paltry percentage of the 17,000 local jurisdictions across the country. With sanctuary cities swelling to more than 500, criminal aliens continue to slip through the cracks.

Jail doors have been wide open in the sanctuary state of California, especially in  Los Angeles County this year as the sheriff’s department there refused to honor more than 25,000 federal detainer requests for illegal aliens in its custody. Showing how such aliens are helped to evade removal from the U.S., ICE pointed to a Salvadoran national who was released into the community after he was found guilty of homicide, robbery and making terrorist threats.

Elsewhere, 287(g)-certified officers kept some egregiously bad actors off the streets. ICE highlighted three cases in which local jailers blocked releases last month:

  • The Jacksonville (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office encountered a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago sentenced to 12 years in prison for capital sexual battery and lewd and lascivious molestation, and held him with an immigration detainer.
  • The Lexington (S.C.) County Sheriff’s Office encountered a citizen of Guatemala charged with kidnapping and sex/criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 11 years old, and detained him. The man had re-entered the U.S. after having been previously removed.
  • The Montgomery County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office encountered a Mexican citizen charged with murder/homicide, and placed an immigration hold on him. The man entered the U.S. on an unknown date and location.

Detaining dangerous individuals and working to keep them off the streets of America is a crucial function that assists ICE. Imagine the good that could be accomplished if more local law-enforcement agencies trained up and seriously committed to upholding this country’s immigration laws as part of their peacekeeping duties.

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