Eighteen Republican state attorneys general urged President Joe Biden in a Thursday letter to reinstate an Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation targeting illegal immigrant sex offenders.
Last month, ICE officials within the Biden administration called off the operation as part of a wider initiative to restrain the immigration agency, The Washington Post reported.
The Trump administration had implemented Operation Talon during its final weeks in an effort to crack down on illegal immigrant sex offenders at large in the U.S.
Attorney General Erich Schmitt of Missouri warned in the letter that “this ill-advised decision threatens to empower sexual predators to victimize women and children in America, and to exacerbate the tragic crisis of sexual assault and sex trafficking among migrant and immigrant communities.
“We urge you to reconsider this decision and restore an aggressive enforcement policy against convicted sexual predators who are unlawfully in the United States.”
Today, we joined 18 state attorneys general in urging President Biden, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Johnson to reverse the Biden Administration’s last-minute cancellation of Operation Talon. pic.twitter.com/UOLF8l147s
— AG Jeff Landry (@AGJeffLandry) February 18, 2021
ICE arrested 19,752 illegal immigrants with sex-related convictions from October 2014 to May 2018, according to the letter.
Their crimes included child molestation, selling minors into prostitution, sexually assaulting the disabled and elderly, and rape by force of weapon.
“The cancellation of this program effectively broadcasts to the world that the United States is now a sanctuary jurisdiction for sexual predators. This message creates a perverse incentive for foreign sexual predators to seek to enter the United States illegally and assault more victims,” the letter said.
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, over 11,500 cases of human trafficking occurred in 2019 in migrant communities, Schmitt noted in the letter.
“We urge you to immediately reinstate Operation Talon, adopt an aggressive enforcement policy against illegal aliens convicted of sex crimes, and send a message to sexual predators that they are not welcome in the United States of America,” the letter concluded.
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