Law enforcement agencies in 675 jurisdictions have refused to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “detainer” requests to hand over illegal immigrants who have been arrested for breaking local laws.
These jurisdictions have kept the ICE from identifying known or suspected terrorists who are inside of the U.S.
The Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security published a report earlier this month titled “ICE Faces Challenges to Screen Aliens Who May Be Known or Suspected Terrorists.”
“Some local law enforcement agencies will not honor ICE immigration detainer requests, which further impacts (Enforcement and Removal Operations)’s ability to take criminal aliens into its custody and apply (the Known or Suspected Terrorist Encounter Protocol) to identify possible terrorist connections,” the report said, according to the Media Research Center.
According to the report, ICE “may have missed opportunities to identify, apprehend, and adjudicate the status of aliens posing the highest risk to public safety and national security” because of the jurisdictions’ failure to cooperate.
“Based on source data provided by ERO’s Law Enforcement Systems and Analysis unit, we determined that approximately 675 jurisdictions nationwide declined to honor more than 29,269 ICE immigration detainers from January 2014 through May 2017,” it continued.
A “detainer” is issued to a law enforcement agency when an illegal immigrant has been arrested and the ICE “has probable cause to believe the alien is removable from this country.”
“When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission,” ICE’s Detainer Policy reads.
The Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General made four recommendations as a result of the report.
First, KSTEP should be expanded to require “periodic screening of aliens under supervision.” Currently, the program does not require continued screening of the 2.4 million illegal immigrants in ICE custody.
Next, ICE needs to make sure that ERO offices have all necessary communication facilities.
Third, ICE should assess its resources to figure out how many officers are needed.
And finally, ICE should “strengthen its quality control program by defining clear oversight responsibilities.”
“Mitigating and reducing any vulnerability is vital to our nation’s security,” Acting Inspector General John Kelly said. “We are pleased with ICE’s response to heed our findings by initiating the process to implement all recommendations.”
The ICE is not the only one trying to get jurisdictions to cooperate. On Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced that it will subpoena up to 23 jurisdictions if they don’t offer proof that they are complying with a key federal immigration law.
In letters to major cities, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, the DOJ requested documents relating to how their policies fall in line with 8 USC 1373, a section of federal law that prohibits jurisdictions from enacting laws that restrict communication between local officials and federal immigration authorities.
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