On March 20th, the Department of Homeland Security issued its first report recapping the crimes undocumented immigrants had committed and listed local law enforcement who failed to turn undocumented people into the federal agents. This report accounted crimes committed and people detained from January 28th to February 3rd. These reports are being conducted due to President Trump’s executive order to have weekly deportation reports and the names of police departments who are not complying with his tougher restrictions on immigration south of the border. During this time period ICE issued 3,083 detainers, which are requests to local law enforcements to hold undocumented immigrants and legal residents who could be deported. From those 3,083 detainers, only 206 were denied by local law enforcements, even though only a small number of detainers were rejected ICE berated these law enforcement departments saying they were putting the lives of Americans in danger by not cooperating.
One police department is responsible for 146 of these denied detainers. Travis county in Texas defended their rejections of these detainers from ICE on the grounds of their sanctuary city status. Sally Hernandez, a democrat and newly elected sheriff of the county, states that unless these individuals were charged with murder, aggravated sexual assault, or human smuggling they would be allowed to post bail. This seemed to ruffle a few feathers with the Governor of Texas Greg Abbott as while as ICE officials. Governor Abbott said that this is why we should get rid of sanctuary cities, because they are letting criminals who have committed other dangerous crimes walk free on the streets. ICE officials are using this list as a way to embarrass or shame local law enforcement into complying with their detainer requests. Dennis Herrera, San Francisco's city attorney referred to this as a shaming list, or a scarlet letter the federal government is putting on local jurisdictions around the country.
Our Verdict: This attempt by the federal government to shame local police municipalities into complying with their requests is shameful within itself. There is no reliable data out there to prove that Americans are more unsafe if 206 people were unable to sit in a cell waiting to see if they would be deported or not. I am more concerned about the ways ICE agents are seeking out undocumented immigrants, and whether their methods are constitutional.