Submitted by: Veronica Coffin
By: J. D. Heyes
Hundreds of so-called illegal immigrant “sanctuary cities” have released thousands of criminal aliens over the past several months – some 50 percent more than previously revealed, according to a new report.
As reported by the Washington Examiner, at least 276 sanctuary cities released more than 8,000 illegal aliens with criminal records or who were facing criminal charges, despite requests from federal authorities that they be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation.
The report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) reveals new data that was received under the Freedom of Information Act. The data contained in the new CIS report show that releases from the cities that ignored the federal demands came over just eight months and were part of an even bigger release of 17,000 criminal aliens.
The report’s author, Jessica M. Vaughn, director of policy studies for CIS, also noted that many of the released illegal aliens were arrested again after their release and charged with 7,500 new and additional crimes, including child sex abuse.
As further reported by the Washington Examiner:
The report, titled “Ignoring Detainers, Endangering Communities State/local agencies release criminals rather than obey law,” provided to Secrets, is expected to fuel U.S. anger over sanctuary cities and the murder by one freed illegal of a San Francisco woman earlier this month.
That woman was 32-year-old San Francisco resident Kate Steinle, who was allegedly shot and killed by 45-year-old Francisco Sanchez, an illegal alien criminal who had been deported five times and was in custody until March when he was released by San Francisco authorities.
“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. This new program explicitly allows local agencies to disregard ICE notifications of deportable aliens in their custody by replacing detainers with ‘requests for notification,'” said Vaughan.
“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 or face sanctions in the form of disqualification from certain kinds of federal funding,” she argued.
More cities, states than previously thought
The new documents obtained by CIS show that at least 276 U.S. cities in 43 states identify as sanctuaries for illegal immigrants; sanctuary cities have adopted policies that instruct local police not to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in turning over suspected illegal aliens for deportation.
Prior to receiving the FOIA requested documents, CIS said that the number of sanctuary cities was believed to have numbered only 200. Not only is the number of cities higher, but the number of states containing them was also higher than previously known, CIS said.
Rather than turn criminal aliens over to ICE authorities as requested, sanctuary cities ignore such requests and often simply release the illegals.
CIS noted that many of those released were let go despite multiple “detainer” requests.
The majority, 5,132, had past criminal records, like Sanchez. Of those, 2,984 had a prior felony conviction or charge.
In addition, 1,867 offenders who were released had been re-arrested, accumulated 7,491 new charges including child sex abuse, Vaughn’s report noted. In addition, she found that 10 percent of new charges involved dangerous drugs, while 7 percent involved driving under the influence of alcohol.
Illegal alien voters?
In February, the Washington Times reported that President Obama’s executive amnesty – temporary deportation protection – would make it easier for illegal aliens to improperly register to vote, since they would also be granted Social Security numbers and driver’s licenses.
Vaughn, in her conclusions, noted that the problem of sanctuary cities was a compelling legal and public safety issue.
“Local refusal to comply with ICE detainers has become a public safety problem in many communities, and a mission crisis for ICE that demands immediate attention,” she writes, recommending that states pass legislation requiring police to respond to ICE detainee requests.
Read the full CIS report here.