The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has refused more than 25,000 requests to surrender illegal immigrants detained in its jails to immigration agents in the 2020 fiscal year, Fox News reported.
LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has blocked the transfer of illegal immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement due to concerns over the conditions at ICE facilities and the possible impact on ongoing criminal investigations, Fox News reported.
“There is no greater threat to public safety than a million undocumented immigrants who are afraid to report crime, out of fear of deportation and having their families torn apart,” Villanueva said.
The 25,000 requests were made during the 2020 fiscal year, according to ICE spokesman Alexx Pons.
“As the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, I am responsible for everyone’s public safety, regardless of immigration status. I will not allow an entire segment of the population to be afraid to report crimes to law enforcement and be forced, again, back into the shadows,” Villanueva added.
“As a federal law enforcement agency, ICE supports all individuals reporting crimes regardless of immigration status in the United States,” ICE official Henry Lucero said.
“It’s very mind-boggling as a career law enforcement official that someone would implement this policy,” Lucero added.
The LA County Sheriff’s Department froze detainee transfers in April, citing the spread of the coronavirus in correctional facilities, Fox News reported.
ICE will reportedly need to acquire a judicial warrant to transfer detainees into federal custody.
ICE did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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