U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE agents (Bryan Cox/ICE via AP)

Sanctuary shaming: Trump's Homeland Security releases first crime report dedicated to undocumented immigrants

The detainer report is part of President Trump's campaign to malign undocumented immigrants and sanctuary cities


Taylor Link
March 22, 2017 6:04PM (UTC)

Pursuant to President Trump's executive order that called for a weekly list of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, the Department of Homeland Security released its first "Declined Detainer Outcome Report" on Tuesday. The report, covering the week of Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, 2017, named 206 incidences in which a jurisdiction declined to detain an immigrant who could have been subject to deportation.

The purpose behind these weekly reports is to "better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions," according to the executive order signed in January. However, critics of the executive order have argued that the real motive is to besmirch sanctuary cities and to stigmatize all undocumented immigrants as dangerous criminals. Counties in Oregon, Texas and Minnesota — just to name a few — refused to comply with Immigration Custom Enforcement (ICE), according to the report.

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ICE field offices issued 3,083 detainers throughout the United States in the week covered in the report. Several jurisdictions across the country declined 206 of those requested detainers. Of the 206 declined detainers, 144 came from Travis County, Texas, meaning every other sanctuary jurisdiction in the U.S. only declined 62 detainer requests.

In Travis County, Texas, the criteria for honoring a detainer request requires an accompanied court order unless the crime committed by the undocumented immigrant involves murder, sexual assault or human trafficking.

In Hennepin County, Minnesota, law enforcement will not honor ICE detainer absent judicial authority. The sheriff's office in Hennepin County issued a statement Monday disagreeing with the Department of Homeland Security's findings in the report.

“The report is incorrect in some respects and we are working with [the Department of Homeland Security] to help them understand our operations,” the Hennepin County statement said, but the office declined to specify what inaccuracies the report contained. “In every case we notify ICE in advance of an inmate’s release if we have been contacted. We do not enforce immigration law, which is the role of the Federal Government.”


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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