SAN DIEGO – Hector Manuel Bautista-Cardenas, a 31-year-old Mexican national illegally in the United States who is facing state charges for domestic violence was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Tuesday.
On December 21, ICE lodged an immigration detainer while Mr. Bautista was in state custody facing felony charges for false imprisonment with violence, and a misdemeanor charge for domestic violence. Pursuant to the California Trust Act (SB 54), the San Diego Sheriff’s Office (SDSO) did not honor the detainer. Mr. Bautista posted a bond and was released from state custody the same day.
On February 14, ICE served an immigration subpoena requesting the SDSO to provide the criminal records for Mr. Bautista. On February 28, the SDSO complied with the subpoena, providing ICE all of the records requested.
On March 3, officers for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations conducted an at-large operation in El Cajon near this last known residence, where he was arrested without incident.
According to ICE records, Mr. Bautista was previously removed from the United States on at least two occasions, including July 17, 2008, and January 29, 2010. He was transferred to the San Diego Metropolitan Correctional Center, Federal Bureau of Prisons, where he is facing criminal prosecution for illegal reentry into the U.S.
ICE lodges detainers on individuals who have been arrested on criminal charges and who ICE has probable cause to believe are removable aliens. The detainer asks the other law enforcement agency to notify ICE in advance of release and to maintain custody of the alien for a brief period of time so that ICE can take custody of that person in a safe and secure setting upon release from that agency’s 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.
Congress has established no process, requirement, or expectation directing ICE to seek a judicial warrant from already overburdened federal courts before taking custody of an alien on civil immigration violations. This idea is simply a figment created by those who wish to undermine immigration enforcement and excuse the ill-conceived practices of sanctuary jurisdictions that put politics before public safety.
Sanctuary Policies Put Public Safety at Risk
When law enforcement agencies don’t honor ICE detainers, these individuals, who often have significant criminal histories, are released onto the street, presenting a potential public safety threat. Any local jurisdiction thinking that refusing to cooperate with ICE will result in a decrease in local immigration enforcement is mistaken. Local jurisdictions that choose to not cooperate with ICE are likely to see an increase in ICE enforcement activity, as ICE has no choice but to conduct more at-large arrest operations. A consequence of ICE being forced to make more arrests on the streets is the agency is likely to encounter other unlawfully present foreign nationals that wouldn’t have been encountered had we been allowed to take custody of a criminal target within the confines of a local jail. Additionally, once these criminals are out on the street, confirming their whereabouts is often time consuming and resource intensive. Many of our arrest targets are seasoned criminals who are savvy about eluding law enforcement. Despite the severe challenges that local policies have created for ICE, we remain committed to our public safety mission and we will continue to do our sworn duty to seek out dangerous criminal aliens and other immigration violators. ICE seeks straightforward cooperation with all local law enforcement and elected officials. ICE deportation officers carry out targeted enforcement actions every day in locations around the country as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect the nation, uphold public safety, and protect the integrity of our immigration laws and border controls.