WASHINGTON - The Trump administration has released its first weekly report documenting the failure of some local law enforcement agencies to help federal immigration authorities apprehend undocumented immigrants.
The report was mandated in President Donald Trump's executive order, "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States," to expose sanctuary jurisdictions, meaning those who choose not to cooperate with federal immigration agents.
From January 28 to February 3, the report says local police failed to honor 206 detainers issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A detainer is a request that local law enforcement hold on to individuals who ICE believes are subject to deportation.
'Safer for everyone'
During that week, ICE issued 3,083 detainers. Ten jurisdictions failed to honor 157 of the 206. Clark County, Nevada, topped the list with 51 declined detainers, while Nassau County, New York, followed with 38. Detainers include charges or prior convictions for offenses ranging from drunken driving to aggravated assault and homicide.
ICE said the refusal to cooperate “undermines ICE's ability to protect the public safety,” and added that the number of detainers will rise as more immigrants are targeted for deportation.
“It is much safer for everyone — the community, law enforcement and even the criminal alien — if ICE officers take custody of the alien in the controlled environment of another law enforcement agency, as opposed to visiting a reported alien's residence, place of work or other public area,” ICE said in a statement.
600 places of sanctuary
The National Immigration Law Center estimates there are 600 sanctuary cities and counties, as well as some states.
These counties, cities and local law enforcement agencies have decided not to cooperate with every detainer for fear that members of the community will be afraid to cooperate with police, even in cases where they are helping to prevent and stop crime. There also are concerns about due process.
Trump has ordered that federal funding to these jurisdictions be cut. The weekly detainer report is intended “to better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions,” he said in his executive order.
The weekly report is part of a larger effort by the Trump administration to gather data that feeds the administration's policies.