The Department of Homeland Security has released its first list of jurisdictions that ignore federal immigration law, indicating nearly 200 illegal immigrants sought for deportation were released instead.
The “name and shame list” was ordered released by President Donald Trump when he signed two Executive Orders related to immigration in January in response to a number of local jurisdictions that have refused to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as self-declared “sanctuary cities.”
Roughly 279 cities and counties refused to cooperate on at least some deportations in 2016, according to data from ICE.
According to the first edition of the list, officials in Los Angeles refused to turn over two men from Mexico, one convicted of arson and another of assault, while Philadelphia refused to cooperate in the case of a Jamaican man accused of murder.
The District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, and Arlington, Virginia, are all listed as sanctuary jurisdictions, placing them at risk of losing federal funding.
Both specified counties in Maryland, which have significant populations of immigrants from Central America and a sizable presence of the violent gang MS-13, released men from El Salvador charged with assault.
In regards to the actual number of illegal immigrants released, the worst offender nationally is Travis Co., Texas, where 142 illegal immigrants were released last week. Travis County is the site of Austin, the state’s capitol.
“Today’s report from DHS is deeply disturbing and highlights the urgent need for a statewide sanctuary city ban in Texas,” said Republican Governor Greg Abbott.
Riverside Regional Jail in Hopewell City, Virginia released a convicted rapist, while three men – two in Texas and one in Oregon – were released despite being convicted of indecent exposure.
Boulder County Jail in Colorado refused to honor six detainers, involving individuals convicted of assault and burglary and charged of possession of cocaine.
It is worth noting that the number of illegal immigrants wanted by ICE who were released by a local jurisdiction could be much higher, as officials in Cook Co., Illinois (Chicago) refuse to communicate with ICE at all.
“It is not acceptable for jurisdictions to refuse to cooperate with federal law enforcement by releasing criminal aliens back into our communities when our law required them to be deported,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.