Operation Rise Targets Criminal Aliens in Sanctuary Jurisdictions

An alarming number of cities are opting to protect criminal illegal aliens by prohibiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities. When an illegal alien is arrested, sanctuary policies prohibit local law enforcement from honoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers to hold illegal aliens in police custody for possible removal. This results in the criminal alien being released back into the public.

Because of these circumstances, ICE agents must attempt to locate where these often dangerous criminals are hiding and detain them before they can cause additional harm. In a recent effort dubbed Operation Rise, ICE agents arrested more than 170 illegal aliens between October 3 and October 9. All of those arrested were previously freed by the sanctuary cities of Seattle, Denver, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., despite criminal convictions and active immigration detainers in place. This is the second round of major arrests in recent weeks. ICE agents arrested more than 125 at-large illegal aliens with criminal convictions in California between September 28 and October 2.

Cooperation with local law enforcement is essential to protecting the American public. Advocates for sanctuary policies have long tried to deceive the public by pushing the thoroughly debunked myth that sanctuary cities provide a safer environment for both illegal aliens and those who live in the country lawfully. As we have seen, the opposite is true.

The truth of the matter is that these policies shield criminals at the expense of the American public. In fact, 80 percent of illegal aliens who were arrested and subsequently released by sanctuary cities go onto commit additional crimes once free.

ICE has been largely vilified by open borders advocates who create campaigns such as #AbolishICE. Despite this, ICE continues to play a vital role in protecting our communities. In FY 2019, ICE apprehended “individuals with more than 1,900 convictions and charges for homicide, 1,800 for kidnapping, 12,000 sex offenses, 5,000 sexual assaults, 45,000 assaults, 67,000 crimes involving drugs, 10,000 weapons offenses, and 74,000 DUIs.” These facts are ignored by advocates who would prefer to keep these criminals in the United States.

Dale Wilcox, Executive Director and general counsel for Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), said, “Sanctuary policies are absolute poison for America. They are unconstitutional—a violation of the Supremacy Clause—and threaten the integrity of our republic. More importantly, sanctuary policies bring violent crime and murder that is entirely preventable.”

It is imperative that local authorities be able to communicate with federal immigration authorities in order to ensure that criminal aliens are not released back into American communities, when history tells us that they are likely to commit additional crimes. These jurisdictions must be held accountable for continually placing radical, anti-immigration-enforcement agendas above the safety of the citizens they once vowed to protect.

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