Friday, October 11, 2019


ICE Chief Says ‘Judicial Overreach’ Is Threatening Public Safety

October 10, 2019 Updated: October 10, 2019
WASHINGTON—Speaking from the White House press room podium, acting ICE Director Matt Albence lambasted a judge’s ruling that blocks Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from using database information to issue detainers.
A detainer is a request to a local jail to hold an inmate for up to 48 hours longer in order for ICE to take custody. ICE issues detainers based on probable cause to believe that an individual is a removable alien, Albence said.
“Probable cause is the same legal standard that other law enforcement agencies must meet in order to make an arrest,” he said on Oct. 10.
California District Judge André Birotte Jr. issued the ruling on Sept. 27, on the premise that relying on database information alone can be unreliable and has sometimes led to the wrongful detention of American citizens.
“The result is a potential misclassification of thousands and thousands of people, potentially even millions, given the various requirements for derivation of citizenship, their dynamism, and the failure of immigration officials to adequately or properly track those changes in status,” the judge’s ruling states.
“The result, of course, is that many U.S. citizens become exposed to possible false arrest when ICE relies solely on deficient databases.”
The ACLU, which represented the plaintiffs, celebrated the decision, saying it was a landmark ruling.
“This decision is a major indictment of ICE’s dragnet deportation program, which for more than a decade has subjected citizens and non-citizens to needless unconstitutional arrests at the mere click of a button,” Jennie Pasquarella, senior staff attorney and director of immigrants’ rights for the ACLU SoCal, said in a statement on Sept. 28.
Data provided to the court by ICE shows that almost 13,000 detainers were issued from May 2015 through February 2016. Of the 13,000 detainers, 42 were subsequently lifted because the individual was found to be a U.S. citizen. A further 729 were lifted because the person was not subject to removal.
“Many times, individuals that we come across that are United States citizens don’t even know that they are, because the laws around citizenship are so complicated,” Albence said.
“The reality is we live in an electronic age where information is increasingly digitized, and evidence used to support a finding of probable cause will likely stem from databases.”
Albence said the decision, “issued by a single judge in Los Angeles, will impact at least 43 states, threatening communities far beyond the one in which this judge sits.”
“This decision will threaten public safety, as it will lead to the release of criminal aliens back onto the street—criminals that we won’t find before they hurt, or worse, more innocent victims—victims that could have been spared their pain and suffering if only ICE had been allowed to do its job.”
Albence said ICE usually finds out about an illegal alien when they’re booked into a local jail and their fingerprints are run and data recorded.
“They bounce off the FBI’s databases and they bounce off our databases,” he said.
ICE made about 140,000 illegal alien arrests in fiscal 2018; 75 percent of which came from ICE working with jails and prisons. The other 25 percent were made by ICE’s at-large teams in the community.
Arrests of criminal aliens are down about 15 percent this fiscal year, Albence said, due to the redeployment of agents to assist during the border crisis.
“As much as I would like to, I cannot stand here today and promise you that dangerous criminal aliens are not being let out of jails to potentially harm others. In fact, it’s quite the opposite,” he said.
“And court decisions that negate our lawful authorities only compound this risk. To be clear, the principal beneficiaries of the recent court decision limiting ICE’s ability to use its detainer authorities are criminal aliens who have been arrested for criminal offenses by state and local jurisdictions.”
Albence also took aim at New Jersey’s attorney general, who last week forbade local law enforcement from entering into cooperative agreements with ICE.
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal issued the directive on Sept. 27, saying 287(g) agreements “undermine public trust without enhancing public safety.”
The 287(g) program allows ICE to train local jail officers to identify criminal aliens in their custody, under ICE supervision. Two counties in New Jersey—Monmouth and Cape May—currently have a 287(g) agreement with ICE.
Under the program, in May, Monmouth County officers were able to identify and place an immigration hold on a Mexican national who was charged with enticing a child, sexual assault on a child under 13, lewdness, and endangering sexual conduct with a child, according to ICE.
“I don’t understand how an attorney general, the chief law enforcement officer of the state, tells other law enforcement officers under his command to ignore the law,” Albence said. “He surely did nothing but put the citizens of New Jersey at greater risk.”
Follow Charlotte on Twitter: @charlottecuthbo

ICE Director: Single California Judge Cripples Enforcement in 43 States

In this March 30, 2012 photo, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents take a suspect into custody as part of a nationwide immigration sweep in Chula Vista, Calif. Federal officials say they arrested more than 3,100 immigrants convicted of serious crimes and fugitives in a six-day nationwide sweep. Officials at …
AP/Gregory Bull

A California judge is crippling the nation’s immigration enforcement system, amid the myriad examples of murders and crimes committed by illegal migrants, ICE director Matt Albence said at a White House press conference.

Immigration enforcement is “being singled out and marginalized in ways that no other federal law enforcement organization has to tolerate,” he said. “Tying our hands from the bench does not make our country any safer.”
“We will continue to put our lives on the line to protect the American public, despite the best efforts of those who like to see no enforcement or open borders,” he said.
The judge’s action was prompted by an ACLU lawsuit, which argued that some U.S. citizens were being misidentified as migrants by police databases. The judge announced September 27 he would end ICE’s authority to detain individuals — including illegals who are arrested and held in state or county jails — when arrests are based solely on evidence in databases. Once arrested, migrants are not deported until a judge orders their deportation.
The California judge is André Birotte Jr. He is the son of Haitian immigrants and was nominated by President Barack Obama. His ruling applies just to actions in Southern California, but that is where ICE has one of its major data centers, the Pacific Enforcement Response Center, in Laguna Niguel, California.
Pro-migration groups rejoiced at their success:
The PERC issues detainers 24-hours a day within California and after-hours to 41 other states. The ruling means that ICE may not issue any detainer request from the PERC to any state that does not expressly authorize local law enforcement to make immigration arrests in state law, and it may not issue a detainer without something more than database information to support a probable cause determination.
Albence described the problem:
This decision issued by a single judge in Los Angeles will impact at least 43 states, threatening communities far beyond the one in which this judge [sits]. I wish I could say this is an isolated occurrence, it is but the latest example of judicial overreach targeting immigration enforcement and the application of laws already passed by Congress, often decades ago.
The Department of Justice may ask the Supreme Court to suspend the judge’s decision.
Albence slammed the progressives’ massive resistance to immigration laws:
This decision will threaten public safety, as it will lead to the release of criminal aliens back onto the street – criminals that we won’t find before they hurt. Or worse, more innocent victims that could have been spared their pain and suffering. If only ICE had been allowed to do its job …
Time and again, DHS has been prevented from exercising the authority granted to it by Congress, because of the decisions of unelected judges who substitute their judgment for that of our legislators, or the government officials and trusted with enforcing our laws.
“A recent case, in a litany of tragic, tragic examples, clearly illustrates this danger,” Albence said:
Carlos Daniel Carillo-Lopez entered this country illegally as an unaccompanied alien child in 2015 [from Guatemala]. He was arrested no less than four times in the past seven months in the state of Washington for charges including criminal trespass, theft, malicious mischief, and failure to appear. Each time ICE lodged a detainer [request to local jails]. Each time the detaining entities — [which are] proud sanctuary jurisdictions — release him without notifying ICE [in time for ICE to arrest the illegal].Tragically, on September 30th, 2019, he was arrested for homicide. His victim [was] another young man.
Albence said:
ICE made approximately 140,000 arrests this year [and] about 75 percent of those arrests came from working with the jails and prisons. The other 25 percent are made by ICE at-large teams. It is critically important work. But it takes a lot more time and resources to make those arrests and a much greater risk to our officers, the public, and the subjects themselves. And we could have apprehended those criminal aliens from the safe confines of a jail upon their release.
Pro-migration groups jeered at Albence’s plea for enforcement of the law. NDLON, a group which represents illegal migrants, declared:
The eerie retrograde racism on display from the White House podium this morning makes a case for – rather than against – sanctuary cities…  The Trump Administration is a threat to local public safety.  This is a fact.  And no amount of Mexican-bashing, Central American-bashing, or Muslim-bashing will change the truth that recently arrived immigrants – documented and undocumented – are now taking the historical baton and defending bedrock constitutional values for everyone.
“The oath of office taken by the men and women of ICE means something to us, which is why we will adapt like we always do, why we will persevere like we always do,” Albence said. He added:
We will continue to put our lives on the line to protect the American public despite the best efforts of those who like to see no enforcement or open borders. But make no mistake, rulings from any individual federal court, sitting in a single judicial district purporting to cripple ice authorities on a nationwide basis puts people at risk, innocent victims whose lives will be forever changed for the worse, all across our great country. And we could have stopped it.

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