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February 27, 2020Washington County, OR, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

Washington County provides criminal alien information previously refused under Oregon sanctuary policies

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore. — The Washington County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) responded to the subpoenas issued on Tuesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for non-public information of criminal aliens who are or were detained in the county jail. These subpoenas were necessary due to dangerous sanctuary laws that are forcing Oregon law enforcement agencies as well as state, county and local governments, to refuse ICE’s requests for information and cooperation. WCSO provided ICE with the requested information in a timely manner and prior to the requested deadline.

“ICE will use the information provided by WCSO to locate, arrest, and remove dangerous criminal aliens from our community,” said Michael Melendez, acting field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations - Seattle. “I commend the sheriff’s office for their hard work and commitment to public safety. ICE will not allow ill-advised, reckless sanctuary laws and policies to pit federal and local law enforcement officers against each other for political gain and the public shouldn’t either. Simply put, cooperation between all law enforcement agencies makes our community safer.”

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.

ICE is anticipating responses to additional subpoenas served to law enforcement agencies in Clackamas and Wasco Counties, the Hillsboro Police Department and the Oregon State Police, prior to their March 3 deadline.

ICE uses statutorily-established subpoenas to obtain information as part of investigations regarding potentially removable aliens. Historically, ICE has not needed to use its subpoena authority to obtain information from other law enforcement agencies as most law enforcement agencies throughout the country willingly exchange information with ICE regarding aliens arrested for crimes in the interest of public safety and law enforcement.

Faced with increasing barriers and resistance from so-called “sanctuary” state and local governments, ICE is using every tool available to obtain information regarding the whereabouts and other relevant information relating to specific removable aliens arrested for crimes, (both in the custody of local jails and at large) from jurisdictions that are unable to, or chose to not cooperate with ICE.

Since January, ICE has issued immigration subpoenas in Oregon, California, Colorado, Connecticut and New York. Should law enforcement agencies or other government entities fail to respond to the subpoenas, ICE may seek an order from the U.S. District Court requiring production pursuant to federal statute INA § 235(d)(4)(B), 8 C.F.R. § 287.4(d).

Updated: 02/28/2020