DHS: Travis County declined 142 ICE detainer requests in a week

It doesn't represent all the cases in which immigration authorities sought custody of people facing criminal charges, with major cities like NY and Los Angeles underrepresented on the list. NY is a city that won't detain non-citizens on behalf of the federal government. The Center for Immigration Studies identifies 300 sanctuary jurisdictions.

President Trump's administration is aiming to shame sanctuary cities with a new report listing localities that are not cooperating with requests to detain illegal immigrants who have been charged with crimes.

Travis County released more criminally charged undocumented immigrants from custody than any other American county highlighted in a new report from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The intent is to have such prisoners detained for up to 48 hours so that federal officials can decide whether to pick them up and deport them.

After almost declining an ICE detainer issued for a man accused of molesting a child, Hernandez said she would consider expanding her policy to include crimes committed against children and elderly. Some jurisdictions feel that legally, without a warrant from ICE, they can not detain individuals beyond the extent otherwise dictated by criminal law.

The list published today covers the period from January 28 to February 3.

In his January 25 executive order intensifying deportation efforts, President Trump said the Homeland Security secretary should compile a list of the agencies that refused to detain immigrants past the time they are supposed to be released and the crimes those immigrants are accused of, and make it public "on a weekly basis".

Trump has ordered that federal funding to these jurisdictions be cut.

The list covers the cases of 206 unnamed individuals who ICE says committed "notable criminal activity", and the jails from which they were released.

The information reflects that detainers were declined on immigrants charged with a variety of crimes, including driving under the influence, drug possession, sexual assault, robbery and indecent exposure to a minor. The majority of the immigrants whose cases are highlighted are from Mexico or Central America.

A significant portion of these detainers were ignored by Travis County, Texas. Roughly 73 percent of detainers declined by Travis County were issued before 2017.

The number of detainers issued is expected to increase over the next several weeks as ICE field offices have been instructed to issue detainers on all removable aliens in the custody of local law enforcement.

Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said that when detainer requests aren't honored and serious offenders are released, "it undermines ICE's ability to protect the public safety and carry out its mission".

  • Larry Hoffman