"When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE's ability to protect the public safety and carry out its mission", said Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan.
Travis County released more criminally charged undocumented immigrants from custody than any other American county highlighted in a new report from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
A significant portion of these detainers were ignored by Travis County, Texas.
Some field offices had ceased issuing detainers to known uncooperative jurisdictions, according to ICE.
The data comes as the Texas Legislature is now debating Senate Bill 4, which would ban "sanctuary" jurisdictions by withholding grant funding to them and making police chiefs, sheriffs, constables and other department heads subject to a class A misdemeanor - and potential removal from office - for violating the provision of the bill.More news: Justin Kuijer: Man Wanted In Niagara For Murdering Stepson
Foreign nationals are arrested in February during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles. "The Travis County Sheriff's decision to deny ICE detainer requests and release back into our communities criminals charged with heinous crimes-including sexual offenses against children, domestic violence and kidnapping-is risky and should be criminal in itself". Austin said in a March 20 court hearing the agents revealed they were bringing in other officer from out of town, and that they were doing it because Hernandez said she would only hold inmates for ICE if they had been charged with capital murder, murder, aggravated sexual assault or continuous human smuggling. The majority of the cases, 56%, were people charged with crimes but have not been convicted. Looking at more than 3,000 ICE detainer requests, DHS found 206 requests declined. Some jurisdictions feel that legally, without a warrant from ICE, they can not detain individuals beyond the extent otherwise dictated by criminal law.
Calls to the Travis County Sheriff seeking clarification on the data were not immediately returned.
In New York City, the NYPD and Department of Corrections declined four ICE detainer requests during the week detailed in ICE's release - January 31-Feb. 3.