Unimaginable: More than 1,500 aliens with ICE detainers released from the Orange County Jail in 2019, many re-offended
WASHINGTON — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Acting Director Matthew T. Albence has repeatedly expressed concerns about how state or local policies limiting cooperation with ICE can lead to more crime. According to data recently released from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, in the two years since the implementation of California’s State Bill 54 (SB54), the sheriff’s department has rearrested more than 400 of those they released on whom ICE had active detainers. The aliens who were rearrested include those with charges including: rape, assault with a deadly weapon, child sex offenses, domestic violence, identify theft, and driving under the influence.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department data showed:
- A total of 1,507 inmates released from the Orange County Jail had ICE detainers.
- 492 inmates were released to ICE upon completion of their local sentences in accordance with SB54 regulations.
- The remaining 1,015 inmates were released without notification to ICE due to limitations by SB54
- 238 of those individuals were rearrested on additional charges.
- A total of 1,823 detainers were placed on inmates at the Orange County Jail.
- 823 inmates were released to ICE upon completion of their local sentences in accordance with SB54 regulations.
- 1,106 inmates were released without notification to ICE due to limitations by SB54
- 173 of those individuals were rearrested on additional charges.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department noted these numbers only reflect those arrested on new charges at the Orange County Jail; these statistics do not account for individuals who may have been released and committed crimes in other jurisdictions.
SB 54 restricts law enforcement from notifying, transferring and communicating with ICE regarding certain offenders.
“SB 54 has made our community less safe. The law has resulted in new crimes because my deputies were unable to communicate with their federal partners about individuals who committed serious offenses and present a threat to our community if released,” said Don Barnes, Orange County Sheriff-Coroner. “The two-year social science experiment with sanctuary laws must end. Rather than protect our immigrant community, the law has enabled offenders to be released, often times back into the immigrant communities they prey upon, and create new victims.”
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.