Police

First ICE Report on Police Who Won't Detain Immigrants Shows How Small the Problem Is

Around 200 refusals, and many of those were merely charged, not yet convicted.

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immigration protests
Jim West/ZUMA Press/Newscom

As President Donald Trump ordered in the earliest days of his leadership, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has released its first weekly list of law enforcement agencies that refuse to cooperate with orders to detain immigrants in the United States illegally.

ICE's first report covers people released by law enforcement agencies between January 28 and February 3, but the actual detainer requests can go back much longer, even several years. But of the 3,083 requests by ICE to detain immigrants and hand them over to the feds, only 206 requests were declined. And the majority of the refusals were concentrated in a handful of communities, particularly Travis County, Texas, home of Austin.

Furthermore, of those declined requests, slightly more than half the immigrants on the list are people who have only been charged with crimes and not yet convicted. And while some of the charged crimes are very serious and violent (there's a person charged with homicide in Philadelphia), ICE is also trying to detain and possibly deport people charged with much lesser crimes like prostitution and drug possession. They're even trying to get their hands on a Venezuelan in Florida convicted of a traffic violation.

It's also not clear how accurately we should treat the report. A section of the report lists all the law enforcement agencies in the country who have limits or restrictions on how much they cooperate with ICE on detaining and handing over immigrants. The New York Times notes that Nassau County in New York is listed among these agencies, but in fact the county's sheriff's office assures they're very, very cooperative with ICE. In Texas, Williamson County's sheriff said the same thing. He says the four people ICE claims they refuse to detain for them were actually moved to other jurisdictions that subsequently refused to cooperate.

It's the first report of its kind, so perhaps some kinks are to be expected. The numbers may also end up increasing, though it's not clear of the degree. The report introduction notes that law enforcement agencies don't often inform ICE that they're refusing the detainer request, so the report is based on what ICE employees are able to figure out for themselves. This could explain the Williamson County mistake. The report also notes that ICE had previously stopped sending detainer requests to law enforcement agencies with a history of non-cooperation. Under Trump's orders, ICE is going to start sending them requests again. The report notes, "As a result, the number of issued detainers will increase over the next several reporting periods."

So the number of refusals may increase, but that doesn't mean that there's a dramatic increase in crime caused by immigrants here illegally. Keep that in mind (and the fact that many people on the list have merely been charged) when examining future trend coverage of these reports. Evidence shows that immigrants are not major sources of criminal activity.

Read through the report yourself here. Note that a lot of the agencies listed as not cooperating aren't simply flat-out refusing to detain immigrants on ICE's demand. Many require a warrant or a court order of some sort.

NEXT: Crime on the virtual street: Indecent exposure

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  1. STOP SEPARATING FAMILIES

    Everything is cool if you just make it someone else’s fault.

    1. personal responsibility is dead these days :/

      1. Yeah, Drumpf even lets Spicer and the generals take the blame

  2. Read through the report yourself here.

    Scott, if you’re looking, I gotta say bravo to letting your readers make up their own damn minds. You do it consistently and I, for one, appreciate it.

  3. Evidence shows that immigrants are not major sources of criminal activity.

    So what? If we let you in, and you take advantage of our trust – there’s the door.

    1. Because the resources spent deporting immigrants might be better spent on stopping crime committed by natives.

      1. It’s probably cheaper to deport criminal immigrants than to run them through the criminal justice meat-grinder.

      2. The focus is on illegal immigrants who have committed crimes…it isnt possible to deport all

        1. actually it is. I have stated this countless times. well not all but 10-20 million can easily be gotten down to a couple million in a few years to a decade. The way to stopping flow and preventing them from thriving. You do that and most will leave on their own.

          You are a dishonest fuck who ignored history like operation wet back which was a total half ass measure.

    2. Frankly, there’s a lot of native-born citizens who i’m not thrilled about sharing a land mass with. Bring back banishment!

      1. Baby steps.

        1. Whoa, whoa, whoa. I said “banishment,” not “horrible death by venomous monster.”

  4. “Furthermore, of those declined requests, slightly more than half the immigrants on the list are people who have only been charged with crimes and not yet convicted.”

    Outside of being here illegally you mean, right?

    “ICE is also trying to detain and possibly deport people charged with much lesser crimes like prostitution and drug possession.”

    We should keep people who already broke the law coming here illegally if they only break small laws you don’t like? Seems silly. Them being here illegally is reason enough to boot them.

    “They’re even trying to get their hands on a Venezuelan in Florida convicted of a traffic violation.”

    If they’re here illegally…so what?

    “So the number of refusals may increase, but that doesn’t mean that there’s a dramatic increase in crime caused by immigrants here illegally.”

    Their rate of committing crimes is 100%. They’re ALL here illegally, so that law being broken is universal. True, if we ignore certain crimes, any group can have a low rate of crime. But that, of course, requires ignoring crimes.

    1. Yes, yes it does. And that would be great!

    2. I wonder how many laws you’ve broken today.

    3. Yeah man – fuck all those escaped slaves, criminals all.

      And fuck Ghandi and MLK.

      If you’re caught importing medication without a prescription you should have the book thrown at you.

      And really, this country should dissolve its government and revert back to a British Possession and then ask for permission to secede. Until we do so, we are *all* criminals.

      1. This is a strawman and is not very helpful. Deportations does not equal having the book thrown at you or compare to slavery

        1. yea…no clue why he is going full derp. Usually his shit is very insightful :/

      2. “And fuck Ghandi and MLK.”

        See, the thing about civil disobedience is that the disobedient party usually recognizes that the law has actually been broken, whether it be a just law or not, and goes through with the prescribed penalty.

      3. Yes, opposing illegal immigration is identical to endorsing slavery. For realz. That doesn’t even rank as decent sophistry.

        Gee, why do people often confuse Libertarianism for a call to anarchy? Cannot figure it out.

    4. damikesc, you do not understand federalism. You use the term “crime” too generally. The feds cannot compel states to make laws nor to make their laws match the feds. In fact, states are prohibited from any actual enforcement of immigration laws.

      So, illegal immigrants have broken federal law but not state law. The states can and should handle people that break state laws according to their procedures. If the feds want to enforce their laws within a state, then it’s the feds job to do so.

      1. Well stated Free Radical. Similar to the use of Marijuana. It’s still a major federal crime. Period. The fact that DOJ turns a blind eye day in and day out to sanctuary STATES should be emphasized to every simpleton pinhead who says “them just bein here is the crime.” Every person using it for legal medical or recreation purpose (per a given state law) flagrantly flouts the Controlled Substances Act.

        Libertarians should support _minimal_ restriction on movement or personal conduct. Federal top-down enforcement ain’t libertarian.

        1. Property rights should be a top priority.

          Who has the property rights to this country?

          Hint: Not illegals.

          1. Now you lack understanding of property rights too. You evidently think property rights are somehow a collective thing. The question “Who has the property rights to this country?” has no meaning. Unless you think all property is owned by the state, which would make you, what, a communist?

            An illegal immigrant is not violating my property rights if I voluntarily let him into my house.

    5. Entering the country “illegally” is a civil offense, not a criminal offense. Stop acting like it’s criminal but demanding it be treated as civil. And that is indeed what you are doing, because if it were criminal then they get jury trials and stuff. To the best of my recollection, I have never heard any nativist demand that there be jury trials and a verdict before deportation. By saying “deport them all!” you are asserting that being here without papers is a civil and not a criminal offense.

  5. A federal agency is presenting its challenges and goals in such a way as to bend law, funding, and public opinion in a beneficial direction with regard to itself? Inconceivable!

  6. “ICE is also trying to detain and possibly deport people charged with much lesser crimes like prostitution and drug possession.”

    A legal immigrant would not have his green card renewed for the same offenses. Your concern seems unfair

    1. Meh, fuck legal immigrants. They should have snuck in under cover of night like the good ones.

    2. Playing by the rules is for suckers.

  7. I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t want to see the illegal immigrant deported if the crime affected their family.
    “Guy from Canada is here illegally. He goes to a Rangers game, gets drunk, and punches out your daughter because the Habs lost and she’s cheering. After serving time, should NYC turn him over to ICE to be deported?

    1. Isn’t the whole point of a criminal law system that the victims aren’t the ones deciding what to do with a criminal?

      1. One of the other points is to enforce the law, sooo…

  8. The gov should streamline and simplify legal immigration. Also should work on giving permanent legal status to those here who havent committed another crime (perhaps you can say felonies) or exempt traffic citation for example. Then be strict with deporting after those given legal status

    In mean time boot the criminals

    1. Legal immigrants should get priority for like say citizenship

    2. fuck this site is shitty today.

      http://tinyurl.com/kqtla5w

      The US takes in 1 million a year. 4 times as many as the 5th highest nation!

      We don’t need more immigrants. We need better selection!

      1. FYI US in number one in immigrants.

  9. If a native-born citizen is caught possessing pot, no one here would say that the proverbial book should be thrown at him.

    But if an illegal immigrant is caught possessing pot, then it’s time to haul him away?

    1. Given that I don’t support selective enforcement of laws, of course.

      That doesn’t mean I support that law or any particular law.

    2. It was time to haul him away before he was caught breaking *more* laws.

    3. If you’re already committing a crime, committing MORE crimes seems like an idiotic choice.

      He should be hauled away because he is here illegally. How he is found is immaterial.

    4. That is why i think perhaps they should be felonies and things that aren’t perhaps felonies but destructive like vandalism, theft, dui (if they aren’t felonies). And don’t do it for drug possession.

      Any i don’t consider hauling throwing the book at them. Quite a difference

  10. Evidence shows that immigrants are not major sources of criminal activity.

    Is that link supposed to substantiate the claim?

  11. All of this is irrelevant. The federal government cannot compel state governments to enforce federal laws.

    1. Can states or cities compel the federal (taxpayers) to give them grants?

      1. Of course not. The feds giving away less money is a win!

    2. Then don’t bitch when the feds show up at courts.

      “Not my problem” is a door that swings both ways.

      1. I wouldn’t bitch about that. It’s what I would expect actually. It’s much simpler than all this imprecise blathering everybody is doing.

        Also, it would lay bare what it means for the federal government to “round people up”.

  12. First ICE Report on Police Who Won’t Detain Immigrants Shows How Small the Problem Is

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has released its first weekly list of law enforcement agencies that refuse to cooperate with orders to detain immigrants in the United States illegally.

    More logical fails from the Open Borders Uber Alles crowd.

    The report is only those failures to detain that were specifically requested by the fed. That is hardly the full extent of “the Problem” of failure to deport in custody illegal aliens.

    “The Problem” includes, as a start, all societal costs from *all* identified in custody illegal immigrants who are not deported. Include further all the costs incurred by society from illegal aliens *who might have been deterred* by seeing a commitment to actually enforcing immigration law.

    1. Your opposition to illegal immigration has nothing to do with the simplistic notion of “sanctuary cities”. I suspect if this was a different issue, and the feds were trying to force states to turn people over to the feds, you would be opposed.

      Such as Colorado arresting someone for failure to pay a parking ticket with the feds demanding Colorado turn over that guy because the feds suspect him of breaking federal marijuana laws.

      I’m always amazed how much people fall in love with federal power when they are hating on immigrants.

      1. “Your opposition to illegal immigration has nothing to do with the simplistic notion of “sanctuary cities”. I suspect if this was a different issue, and the feds were trying to force states to turn people over to the feds, you would be opposed.

        Such as Colorado arresting someone for failure to pay a parking ticket with the feds demanding Colorado turn over that guy because the feds suspect him of breaking federal marijuana laws.”

        And if a man was convicted of murder in a federal court, you’d want a state to turn him over as well. We can all play “pointless hypotheticals”.

      2. I’m for law enforcement exercising their constitutional powers, and against them exercising unconstitutional powers.

        Immigration is a federal issue, plants that people smoke are not.

        1. Sure, immigration is a federal issue for which it is Constitutionally authorized. So let the feds enforce the immigration laws.

          We are talking about the feds commanding the states to help them enforce those laws. What about this is so hard to understand?

  13. Here in Austin, Texas, the Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez was pressured by Hispanic interest groups to implement a new sanctuary policy to protect their illegal criminals. Hernandez will now notify the federal government only when illegal aliens are booked into jail who have committed murder, aggravated sexual assault or human smuggling.

    So Sheriff “Sanctuary” Sally will refuse to contact the Federal Government when illegal aliens are booked into jail for committing the following crimes among many others: manslaughter, aggravated assault, kidnapping, domestic violence, robbery, burglary, larceny, molestation and DUI. She will release them back into the community instead when they get bail.

    Of course, since illegal aliens usually prey upon their own ethnic group, legal immigrants and minorities will be the hardest hit. But never fear, all Austinites will be affected.

    The former Sheriff, Greg Hamilton, a common-sense Democrat, had a straightforward policy and procedures that worked well. Sally Hernandez has decided to throw that policy out in favor of criminal aliens.

    If you want more Trump, this is how you get more Trump.

    1. Do you understand that the laws against “manslaughter, aggravated assault, kidnapping, domestic violence, robbery, burglary, larceny, molestation and DUI” are state laws while immigration laws are federal?

      States deal with people who commit crimes according to their own procedures. A person arrested for “manslaughter, aggravated assault, kidnapping, domestic violence, robbery, burglary, larceny, molestation and DUI” could have a high bail levied on them or other restrictions. Depending on the circumstances, they may not be released back into the community. Being an illegal immigrant is irrelevant.

      1. Every single one of those crimes makes an alien – legal or illegal – immediately deportable.

        I am a legal immigrant and naturalized citizen who understands the law as it has been written for decades. It is really no big deal to not commit crimes, particularly from the list above. If an alien commits any of those crimes, we are better rid of him. Why is this so hard to understand?

        1. Are you sure that mere allegation of a state crime is grounds for immediate deportation? Do think that being accused of a crime is the same as committing a crime? If so, you are either a simpleton or an authoritarian.

          Regardless, let the feds hang out on the sidewalks outside of courthouses and jails. It would make it very obvious what it really means for the feds to round people up for deportation: federal agents standing around on sidewalks asking people for their papers.

  14. ” But of the 3,083 requests by ICE to detain immigrants and hand them over to the feds, only 206 requests were declined.”

    Let’s extrapolate the week of January 28th through Feb 3rd to 52 weeks in a year:
    In one year ICE will issue around 160,316 detainers for undocumented immigrants that have been charged with or convicted of a crime. (We already know this number is low since they stopped issuing detainers in uncooperative jurisdictions. We’ll see the better data in the next few weeks)

    With 206 out of 3083 requests being denied, that’s 6.7% or at least 10,712 (annualized) undocumented criminals per year being released instead of going through the immigration court legal process.

    We need more data to determine the extent of undocumented immigrant criminality – we really have zero idea and Scott’s links don’t provide any. Example: try to go to DOJ Bureau of Justice Statistics site and find information on undocmented persons incarcerated or sentencing data. There’s nothing available after 2011.

    My primary issue with sanctuary city policies is that illegal immigrants are being granted the right to be exempt from our laws, unlike legal immigrants or citizens. A green card or visa holder has to be 100% law-abiding or they risk revocation of their green card or visa.

  15. Travis County’s criminal aliens are listed on pages 8 – 20 – we have the honor of 12 pages in this report!

    Selected crimes committed by the criminal aliens who Sally Hernandez is letting free into our community:

    Assault

    Fraud

    DUI

    Aggravated Assault – Family – Strongarm

    Aggravated Assault – Family – Weapon

    Aggravated Assault – Police Officer – Weapon

    Domestic Violence

    Robbery

    Indecent Exposure

    Burglary

    Flight to Avoid

    Resisting Officer

    Sexual Assault

    Sexual Assault – Carnal Abuse

    Intimidation

    Kidnapping

    Indecent Exposure to Minor

    Sex Offense

    Sex Offense Against Child-Fondling

    Damage Property

    Vehicle Theft

    Hit and Run (not just a Reason blog)

    1. Cultural enrichment!

  16. And the majority of the refusals were concentrated in a handful of communities, particularly Travis County, Texas, home of Austin.

    Why does Austin hate the children?!?!?

  17. In other words, this big increase in ICE activity is producing bupkiss

    LOL, reason.com Republicans posing as libertarians will be sooooooooo pissed, as if a Russin hooker pissed on their leader, Drumpf

  18. The studies in question don’t compare immigrants to the population of the US as a whole. Rather, they compare immigrants to either:

    1. Those that have already been convicted of criminal offenses
    2. The groups with the highest level of criminal activity.

    As the saying goes, “‘Better than Detroit’ isn’t a very positive observation.”

    The 2010 “study” was based on census data that was known to be faulty at the time the study was done. Meanwhile, every study that has compared the percent of prison populations that are illegal immigrants vs. percent of illegal immigrants in the general population and was not based on that census data shows that illegal immigrants make up a disproportionate percent of the prison population.

    As for the other “evidence” provided in that link, if you read through the methodology, you’ll see that they control for some pretty absurd measures, considering that illegal immigration has an effect on them (economic factors, for example). Not only that, but they even went so far as to match counties based on the percent of the population that is Hispanic. In case you don’t realize the problem with that, Hispanic individuals commit a disproportionate amount of crime relative to population size

    Again, we come to the problem presented by the studies previously: We’re not trying to see if illegal immigration would make us worse than Detroit. Your presentation of these studies is either an outright lie or sheer ignorance.

    1. You’d think someone that writes for a site that proclaims its dedication to reason would want to look at and examine the actual evidence, but of course not. As near as I can tell, most of the rational thinking happens in the comments, not the articles themselves.

      There was more I wanted to explain, but I was limited by the max character count for comments. Boy, that’s really showing your dedication to reason, yes siree! Any thorough debunking of BS put on this site has to be limited to 10 tweets in length. Good job. I got my main points in, so I’m fine with that.

  19. All our problems are so so small.

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