Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently descended on the sanctuary city of Chicago. In a six-day sweep, they brought to justice a number of criminal illegal aliens. The result reinforced what President Trump has been saying about illegal immigrants. Over 13 dozen aliens were arrested.
156 illegal immigrants were detained in the raids. Nearly HALF of those arrested were gang members, sex traffickers, drug dealers, car thieves, drug mules, or worse.
“Fourteen of those arrested were immigration fugitives who have final orders of removal. Thirty-six others illegally re-entered the United States after having been previously deported, which is a felony. Depending on an alien’s criminality, an alien who re-enters the United States after having been previously deported commits a felony punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, if convicted. The remaining 106 arrests were at-large aliens who are illegally present in the United States.”
They also wagged their fingers at the sanctuary city policies of Chicago, blaming them for creating a dangerous culture:
“ICE continues to face significant obstacles from dangerous policies created by local officials which hinder cooperation between ICE and local law enforcement,” said Ricardo Wong, field office director for ERO Chicago. “Sanctuary cities” not only provide refuge to illegal aliens, but they also protect criminal aliens who prey on people in their own communities. This operation was a great success for all members of our communities. The Chicago area is safer today because of the hard work of the men and women of ERO.”
In years past, most of these individuals would have been turned over to ICE by local authorities upon their release from jail based on ICE detainers. Now that many sanctuary cities, including Chicago, do not honor ICE detainers, these individuals, who often have significant criminal histories, are released to the street, which presents a significant and growing public-safety threat.
ICE places detainers on individuals who have been arrested on local criminal charges and who are suspected of being deportable, so that ICE can take custody of that person when the person is released from local custody. When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders onto the streets, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission.
ICE has no choice but to continue to conduct targeted at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which inevitably result in additional collateral arrests. Such operations are much more dangerous for ICE officers, for the targeted aliens, and for bystanders.