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June 17, 2019Seattle, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

Cooperation between ICE, local law enforcement makes for safer communities

SEATTLE, Wash. – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) relies upon the cooperation of local law enforcement officials to expeditiously remove dangerous criminals from our communities. ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations’ (ERO) mission is to identify, arrest and remove aliens who present a danger to national security or are a risk to public safety.

There is an inherent increase in risk to personnel and bystanders when ICE officers and agents must go out into the community to proactively locate these previously detained criminal aliens. ICE commends our local law enforcement colleagues who work to minimize that risk by cooperating with ICE to apprehend criminal aliens at the time of their release from local custody.

“When local law enforcement decides to uphold sanctuary policies and release illegal criminal aliens without notifying ICE, it is a decision to protect and release criminals who are preying on victims in our communities. By allowing criminal aliens, particularly those with egregious criminal records, to be released it places everyone in potential danger. Danger that very well could be prevented through cooperation with immigration officials,” said Bryan Wilcox, acting field operations director, ERO Seattle.

Without the cooperation of local officials, EROs ability to perform its federally mandated mission is hindered and dangerous criminal aliens, like those described below, could remain in our communities to reoffend. The expeditious removal of these offenders promotes public safety and reduces the overall cost to taxpayers.

  • Illegal alien arrested for murdering, dismembering victim after local police fail to notify ICE of his release
    In October 2017, ICE identified Rosalio Ramos-Ramos who is an illegally present Honduran citizen with prior criminal convictions and four prior removals from the United States at a city jail in Washington. ICE lodged a detainer, but he was released without notification to ICE. In January 2018, Ramos-Ramos was arrested again and booked at a local county jail for murder. ICE has lodged another detainer with local jail officials.
  • County jail ignores ICE detainer, illegal alien suspected of killing wife after release
    In March 2018, ICE located and lodged a detainer on Martin Gallo-Gallardo, a citizen of Mexico who was unlawfully present in the United States, after locating him in an Oregon county jail. Jail officials did not honor the immigration detainer and released the convicted criminal two days later, without notifying ICE. Following his release, ICE made multiple, unsuccessful attempts to locate and arrest the man. In October 2018, Gallo-Gallardo was arrested again, this time on a felony murder charge for allegedly killing his wife.
  • County jail ignores ICE detainer, Honduran man suspected of murder after release
    In September 2016, ICE located Elder Carceres-Coello, an illegally present Honduran man with multiple prior criminal convictions being held at a county jail in Washington. ICE lodged a detainer with the jail, but in February 2017, county officials did not honor the detainer and released him. In July 2017, Carceres-Coello was again arrested, this time for theft and property destruction. In July 2017, despite criminal charges, convictions and previous immigration removals going back to 2005, county jail officials released Carceres-Coello without notifying ICE. In August 2017, Carceres-Coello was arrested yet again, this time for homicide and robbery. As of June 2019, he is being held on both murder and robbery charges at a local county jail.
  • County jail releases illegal alien, man later kills wife and self in apparent murder-suicide
    In December 2016, ICE located and lodged a detainer on Christian Octavio Parra, who was being held in a county jail in Washington. Octavio Parra was a Mexican citizen who was illegally present in the U.S. and had prior immigration encounters. Local jail officials did not honor the immigration detainer and released the convicted criminal in August 2017 without notifying ICE. A little over a month later, Octavio Parra shot and killed his estranged wife before taking his own life.
  • County jail refuses to honor immigration detainer, releases child rapist
    In January 2014, ICE encountered Jorge Luis Romero-Arriaga, an illegally present citizen of Honduras, at a county jail in Kent, Washington. Romero-Arriaga was being held on a charge of rape of a child. ICE officers interviewed the man and determined that he was a citizen of Honduras and lodged an immigration detainer. That same month, the immigration detainer was not honored and Romero-Arriaga was released to the community pending the disposition of his case. In August 2015, the subject was convicted of multiple counts of assault. In February 2017, ICE took Romero-Arriaga into custody and removed him from the U.S. in March 2017.
  • County jail refuses to honor ICE detainer, releases illegal alien convicted of rape
    In June 2013, ICE officers encountered Luis Fernandez-De La Torre at a local county jail in Kent, Washington. ICE officers determined he was a citizen of Mexico and lodged an immigration detainer. Fernandez-De La Torre was later convicted of rape and sentenced to more than a year in jail. After completion of his sentence, the Department of Corrections transferred Fernandez-De La Torre to a county jail on warrants for driving while impaired and violating a no contact order. In February 2014, ICE lodged a subsequent detainer at the county jail. The detainer was not honored, and that same month, Fernandez-De La Torre was released to the community. In July 2014, ICE took the criminal alien into custody, and he was removed to Mexico in May 2015.
  • County jail refuses to honor ICE detainer of man who sexually assaulted dog
    In February 2019, Fidel Lopez, an illegally present Mexican citizen, was encountered by ICE officials at a local Oregon county jail. ICE lodged an immigration detainer on Lopez the same day for violating immigration laws. In April 2019, Lopez was convicted of multiple charges involving animal abuse. The county jail did not honor the immigration detainer and released him without notice to immigration officials. ICE apprehended Lopez at his residence and served him a notice to appear. He is currently being held at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma pending immigration proceedings.

A detainer is a request to local law enforcement agencies that ICE be notified as early as practicable – ideally at least 48 hours – before a removable alien is released from criminal custody and then briefly maintain custody of the alien for up to 48 hours to allow ICE to assume custody for removal purposes. ICE lodges detainers on individuals who have been arrested on local criminal charges and are suspected of being deportable, so that ICE can take custody of that person when he or she is released from local authorities. 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 maintains that cooperation by local officials is an indispensable component of promoting public safety. Policy makers who strive to make it more difficult to remove dangerous criminal aliens and aim to stop the cooperation of local officials and business partners, harm the very communities whose welfare they have sworn to protect.