More than 1,500 criminal illegal aliens with active Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers were released from Orange County, California prisons over the past two years, many of whom re-offended after their release.
ICE issued a press release that the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) had confirmed that a California law passed two years ago (SB54) had created more crime in the state. Of the 1,500 released despite active retainers, more than 400 were re-arrested on charges including “rape, assault with a deadly weapon, child sex offenses, domestic violence, identify theft, and driving under the influence,” ICE reported.
The data from OCSD showed that in 2019, 1,507 inmates were released from the Orange County Jail even though they had active ICE detainers. Just 492 were released to ICE “upon completion of their local sentences in accordance with SB54 regulations.” The remaining 1,015 were released without informing ICE. Of those, 238 ended up committing additional crimes.
In 2018, ICE placed 1,823 detainers on inmates at the Orange County Jail, 823 of which were released to ICE in accordance with the new regulations. Of the 1,106 who were released without notification to ICE, 173 were re-arrested for additional crimes.
“SB 54 has made our community less safe. The law has resulted in new crimes because my deputies were unable to communicate with their federal partners about individuals who committed serious offenses and present a threat to our community if released,” said Don Barnes, Orange County’s Sheriff-Coroner. “The two-year social science experiment with sanctuary laws must end. Rather than protect our immigrant community, the law has enabled offenders to be released, often times back into the immigrant communities they prey upon, and create new victims.”
The OCSD data only collects information on released inmates who committed new crimes in Orange County, meaning some could have been released and committed crimes in other jurisdictions.
“I applaud Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes for his continued efforts to explain why these sanctuary policies do not make sense when it comes public safety. This is exactly what ICE has said time and again. These policies do nothing but ensure that criminals are released back into the community, where many re-offend, instead of being turned over to ICE. These are preventable crimes, and more importantly, preventable victims. As the data released by Sheriff Barnes clearly demonstrates, all communities are safer when local law enforcement works with ICE,” said Acting ICE Director Matthew T. Albence.
ICE has been working to ensure the public’s safety in the wake of liberal cities across the country introducing sanctuary laws that allow local police to refuse to work with the agency in deporting criminal aliens. In Cook County, Illinois, more than 1,000 ICE detainers were ignored in fiscal year 2019, allowing repeat offenders to go free. Also in Chicago, a leaked memo showed city police officers were told not to cooperate with ICE. In Virginia, a police officer was suspended after cooperating with ICE. In November, ICE managed to arrest an illegal alien who was released from prison despite rape charges.