As more attention is placed on sanctuary cities and how the policy affects those communities, a new report out from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) shows that thousands of criminal aliens sought by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been released by state and local jurisdictions with sanctuary policies.
According to the report, the 276 jurisdictions in 43 states and the District of Columbia (See map here) released 8,145 criminal aliens with detainers from ICE. Of these, 63% had prior criminal histories or were labeled a public safety concern at the time of their release. Nearly 1,900 of the released criminal aliens were arrested fro another crime within the eight month period the study looked at, from January 1, 2014, to August 31, 2014.
The report went on to document that a majority, 63%, of the criminal aliens released from state and local custody had serious prior criminal records with a quarter of them being convicted of a felony.
5,132 were previously convicted or charged with a crime or were labeled a public safety concern. Of these,
2,984 had a prior felony conviction or charge;
1,909 had a prior misdemeanor conviction or charge related to violence, assault, sexual abuse, DUI, weapons, or drug distribution or trafficking; and
239 had three or more other misdemeanor convictions.
Also included in the report were several instances in which serious crimes were committed by criminal aliens with ICE detainers were released back into the community.
The 1,867 offenders who were released and subsequently re-offended were arrested 4,298 times during the eight-month period covered by the study. They accumulated 7,491 new charges in total, after their release. Ten percent of the new charges involved dangerous drugs and seven percent were for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).
In the conclusion, the author and director of policy studies at the CIS, Jessica Vaughan, states that ending the Secure Communities program has given sanctuary cities the freedom to ignore ICE detainers and that Congress needs to act in order to keep the American people safe.
The Obama administration has given sanctuaries free rein to ignore detainers by ending the successful Secure Communities program and replacing it with the Priority Enforcement Program.4 This new program explicitly allows local agencies to disregard ICE notifications of deportable aliens in their custody by replacing detainers with "requests for notification".
The only truly effective and lasting solution is for Congress to spell out in federal law that local law enforcement agencies must cooperate with ICE by complying with all detainers and responding to all notifications or face sanctions in the form of disqualification from certain kinds of federal funding. Such a provision has been included in the Davis-Oliver Act, introduced by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), and named in honor of two deputies who were killed last year by a previously deported illegal alien cartel operative in California.
Read the full CIS report
Updated: Tue, Jul 28th 2015 @ 10:15am EDT