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February 28, 2019Grand Rapids, MI, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE arrests 3 released in western Michigan after detainers ignored

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Deportation officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) have arrested three criminal aliens in western Michigan over the last several weeks after they were released from Kent County Sheriff’s custody with an active immigration detainer in place.

"The release of criminal aliens back on west Michigan streets continues to pose a serious threat to our communities,” said Rebecca Adducci, ERO field office director for Detroit, which covers the two-state region of Michigan and Ohio. “ICE remains committed to arresting and removing criminal aliens in the interest of public safety and national security, despite local decisions to not honor detainers and jeopardize the safety of its citizens.”

Case examples:

  • Kent County: Unlawfully present Honduran national arrested locally for assault with intent to murder; after subject repeatedly stabbed another man in the head with a broken beer bottle in an apparent fight. On Feb 26, subject was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon (felonious assault). Released, despite ICE’s issuance of a detainer.
  • Kent County: A previously-deported Mexican national arrested locally for DUI. Released, despite ICE’s issuance of a detainer.
  • Kent County: A previously-deported Mexican national arrested locally for operating while intoxicated. He had been convicted previously for battery, battery 2nd, fraud-false info to law enforcement, felony-reentry after deportation. He is currently in U.S. Marshals custody pending additional felony charges. Released despite ICE’s issuance of a detainer.

ICE Detroit Operations:

In Fiscal Year 2018, the Detroit field office made more than 3,600 arrests in the two-state region – approximately 75 percent of those individuals either had a prior criminal conviction or came into ICE custody pursuant to their criminal arrest on pending charges. These statistics make clear that the agency only conducts targeted enforcement focused first on criminals and public safety threats. Claims of any type of random or indiscriminate enforcement are false.

About detainers:

Detainers serve as a legally authorized request, upon which a law enforcement agency may rely, to continue to maintain custody of an alien for up to 48 hours so that ICE may assume custody for removal purposes. Pursuant to ICE policy, all ICE detainers are submitted with an accompanying administrative arrest warrant or warrant of removal depending upon the circumstances of the individual case. ICE places immigration detainers when the agency possesses probable cause to believe an alien is deportable from the United States.

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.

When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release a criminal alien onto the streets, they have declined an ICE detainer. This negatively impacts public safety and ICE’s efficiency in the apprehension of criminal aliens. Federal immigration laws authorize DHS to issue detainers and provide ICE broad authority to detain removable aliens.

Sanctuary Policies Put Public Safety at Risk:

  • These dangerous policies leave ICE with no choice but to increase enforcement in neighborhoods and workplaces to locate and arrest these persons while they are at-large – increasing the likelihood that other individuals previously not targeted for arrest will be taken into ICE custody.
  • It is safer for everyone if we take custody of an alien in the controlled environment of another law enforcement agency as opposed to visiting an alien’s residence, place of work, or other public area. Arresting a criminal in the safety, security, and privacy of a jail is always the best option.
  • 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. When ICE Fugitive Operations officers have to go out into the community to proactively locate these criminal aliens, regardless of the precautions they take, it needlessly puts our personnel and potentially innocent bystanders in harm’s way.
  • Moreover, tracking down our priority fugitives is highly resource intensive. It’s not uncommon for our criminal alien targets to utilize multiple aliases and provide authorities with false addresses. Many do not have a stable place of employment.