Thousands of requests for 'detainers' not honored by LA County authorities, ICE says

The local head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is speaking out, reaffirming the agency's opposition to state and local so-called sanctuary laws.

At a Thursday press conference, ICE officials disclosed a number of cases, which they said involved a number of people who were released from jail despite requests that they be held. The crimes include grand theft auto, drug trafficking and parole violations.

Shane Matthew Russell was in jail convicted of child cruelty and he was also living in the U.S. illegally.

Russell was released out into the public by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, despite a request from ICE officials to detain him.

"These non-cooperative jurisdiction's sanctuary policies are protecting these criminal aliens," said David Marin, the head of ICE in Los Angeles.

Marin said this is just one of thousands of requests that are routinely declined by local authorities.

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So far this year, ICE officials say they've requested 11,000 detainers from the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department. Only 500 of those have been honored.

So-called "detainers" are a common method of finding and arresting people who are known to be in the country illegally. The process involves agreements between ICE and local jails across the country to hold people arrested on crimes so ICE can look into their status.

"When detainers are not honored, ICE must go in the community to apprehend these individuals before they harm anyone else," Marin said.

Supporters of so-called sanctuary laws argue that they are not preventing ICE from doing its job.

"We are not stopping immigration enforcement from occurring. We allow ICE to do everything they legitimately can and should do. We don't stop them. We just don't do their work for them," said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
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