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February 18, 2020Portland, OR, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE issues subpoenas to demand criminal alien information refused under Oregon sanctuary policies

PORTLAND, Ore. — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) served two immigration subpoenas today on the Washington County Sheriff’s Office requesting information on two illegal aliens who were criminally arrested in Hillsboro, Oregon. These immigration subpoenas are necessary due to dangerous sanctuary laws that are forcing Oregon counties, to include local law enforcement agencies in these counties, to refuse ICE’s requests for information and cooperation.

Under Oregon’s sanctuary laws, county and law enforcement officials are prohibited from providing ICE with non-public information about criminal aliens necessary for federal law enforcement, including the release dates of those criminal aliens from local jails. In addition, Oregon law enforcement does not honor immigration detainers due to Oregon court rulings.

“Politically motivated sanctuary laws tie the hands of local law enforcement agencies who clearly see that working with ICE is crucial to public safety,” said Bryan Wilcox, deputy field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations-Seattle. These irresponsible laws and policies not only unnecessarily pit federal and local law enforcement officers against each other, but provide a refuge for criminal aliens who prey on people in their communities. The public needs to know that cooperation between all law enforcement agencies make their communities safer by holding criminals accountable and providing justice and closure for their victims.”

ICE uses statutorily-authorized administrative subpoenas to obtain information as part of investigations regarding potential removable aliens. ICE has not historically needed to use its lawful authority to issue these subpoenas to obtain information from other law enforcement agencies as most law enforcement agencies throughout the country willingly provide ICE with information regarding aliens arrested for crimes in the interest of public safety.

ICE is using every tool available to obtain information regarding the whereabouts and other relevant information regarding removable aliens (both in the custody of local jails and at large) from jurisdictions that are unable to, or chose to not cooperate with ICE. The criminal aliens about whom ICE sought information from Washington County include:

  • On June 24, 2014, the Washington County Circuit Court convicted a 39 year old citizen of Mexico for sexual abuse in the first degree and sentenced him to 75 months incarceration in the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC). On Jan. 15, 2020, the ODOC transferred custody of the man to the Washington County Jail located in Hillsboro, Oregon. On Jan. 15, 2020 ICE lodged an immigration detainer with the Washington County Jail where he is serving his sentence. In February 2009 the man was also convicted of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first degree and sentenced to a fine and 18 months’ probation. He is currently facing additional charges for displaying a child in sexual conduct, nine charges of sexual abuse in the first degree and four charges of sodomy in the first degree.
  • On Dec. 9, 2019, officers with the Hillsboro Police Department in Oregon, arrested a 44 year old citizen of Mexico and charged him with driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, two probation violations for driving under the influence of intoxicants, failure to appear in the second degree for driving under the influence of intoxicants and failure to appear in the second degree for reckless driving. The man also has three previous arrests between 1999-2018 for driving under the influence of intoxicants. On Dec. 30, 2019, the Washington County Circuit Court in Hillsboro, Oregon, dismissed the reckless driving charge but convicted the man of driving under the influence of intoxicants and sentenced him to 268 days jail, $654.00 fine and probation for two years. On an unknown date between Dec. 12, 2019, and Dec. 17, 2019, the Washington County jail released the man despite an active immigration detainer being in place. The man remains at large.

The immigration subpoenas issued today are the first in Oregon. Since January, ICE has also issued similar immigration subpoenas in California, Denver, Connecticut and New York. Should the law enforcement agencies neglect or refuse to respond to the subpoenas, an immigration officer may coordinate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the district in which the subpoena was issued to seek an order from the U.S. District Court requiring production pursuant to INA § 235(d)(4)(B), 8 C.F.R. § 287.4(d).

Updated: 02/19/2020