Following a Judicial Watch lawsuit, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reinstated a reporting system that informs the public about illegal immigrants who commit crimes after being released from state or local custody. The offenders are shielded by sanctuary policies that ban local law enforcement from honoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers placed on illegal aliens who have been arrested on local criminal charges. If the detainer is honored ICE takes custody and deports the criminal rather than release him or her back into the community. When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines the federal government’s duty to protect public safety.
To pressure municipalities that protect illegal aliens, the Trump administration published weekly Declined Detainer Outcome Reports highlighting state and local governments that did not comply with ICE’s detainer program. The troublesome logs included details of illegal aliens who committed all sorts of atrocious crimes after local authorities let them go and identified the law enforcement agency that released them. Published on ICE’s website, the reports ignited outrage among open borders groups and their mainstream media allies, who complained that the information was controversial and discriminatory. One mainstream media outlet actually reported that “immigration advocates also criticized the list for singling out the criminals among undocumented immigrants without acknowledging the contributions of the broader population to their communities.”
DHS caved into the pressure and temporarily suspended the informative weekly Declined Detainer Outcome Reports. Judicial Watch immediately launched an investigation, requesting records from the agency under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and subsequently suing for the information. Sanctuary cities violate federal law and put the public at risk. In the last decade Judicial Watch has also gone to court to fight sanctuary policies nationwide, including in Arizona, California, Illinois, the District of Columbia and Texas, to name a few. In California alone, Judicial Watch has sued several municipalities for protecting illegal immigrant criminals. Among them are San Francisco, Los Angeles and Pasadena, though practically the entire state shields illegal immigrants from the feds, including serious criminals.