Federal judge says Austin ICE raids in response to sanctuary city policy

A girl watches during a workshop for immigrants to make a preparedness plan in case they are confronted by immigration officials at a Los Angeles charter school where 48-year-old father of four Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez was recently arrested by ICE agen

"Yesterday, pursuant to the President's executive order on interior enforcement that he signed on January 25th, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, ICE, released its first weekly list of detainee requests, which local law enforcement agencies have failed to comply with", White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday.

The Department of Homeland Security report, released Monday, highlighted jurisdictions that choose not to cooperate with ICE "detainers", which are placed on unauthorized immigrants who are arrested on local criminal charges and whom immigration officials believe are removable from the U.S.

Cambridge is listed as one of five uncooperative municipalities in Massachusetts-including neighboring Somerville and Boston-which "will not honor ICE detainer [s]". "We do not enforce immigration law, which is the role of the Federal Government".

Detainers are issued for immigrants who fall under the spectrum of criminal aliens, a definition that was greatly expanded under executive orders issued by the president.

The sheriff's office will honor arrest warrants obtained by ICE but contends that detainers are not judicially reviewed and open the county up to potential civil rights violations if they keep immigration detainees in the county jail.

It explains that the report "is meant to provide the public with information regarding criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignores or otherwise failed to honor any detainers or requests for notification with respect to such aliens". It had 1,856 total declined detainers for that period, with 964 for people with a prior criminal record. (The only other details provided by ICE is that the person's country of origin is El Salvador and encountered law enforcement again on February 3).

The sheriff's office said in a statement that it cooperates with ICE to the full extent of the law, and notifies the agency before the jail releases someone ICE is interested in. "This unsubstantiated claim is offensive to me and the communities that I and the men and women of the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office proudly serve".

Wasco County Sheriff Lane Magill explained at a meeting Saturday that a 1987 state law prohibits city, county and state police from acting in any capacity to help with immigration efforts. Washington County, Ore., had seven.

Santa Clara County - which according to an earlier report had led the nation in rejecting ICE requests - had exactly one case listed in the report released Monday: a Mexican national with a domestic violence conviction.

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"This first weekly report that ICE has made a decision to initiate falls during the period in which we implemented our new policy", Major Wes Priddy with the Travis County Sheriff's Office told a local NPR radio station.

The ICE report said that policy, implemented in January, calls for accepting ICE requests accompanied by a court order, and in cases involving murder, aggravated sexual assault and human smuggling.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison says thirteen ICE-trained deputies in the 287 (g) unit deal with an average of two thousand people a year at the county's Hammond Road jail, south of downtown Raleigh.

However, that ruling in the class-action lawsuit Jimenez Moreno et al v. Napolitano invalidates only detainers issued out of ICE's Chicago Field Office, not the rest of the country.

"Just to make sure we're doing our job right, we looked into ICE's detainer list, but we could not find the specific case that corresponded in our records with what ICE listed", said Sgt.

"In this particular situation, they weren't able to come up and pick up the inmate so they were asking us to hold the person past the date of February 3, and we refused to do so", Reams said.

AP reported that several city officials and sheriffs nationwide criticized the list, saying it includes wrong or misleading information about recent arrests of immigrants or local jail policies.

Citing another report published by the AP, the article pointed out a curious aspect of the DHS report, notably, that two-thirds of the 206 jurisdictions named for failing to comply with ICE detainers were in Travis County, Texas. She said she hoped to speak to ICE about that.

"Our values are that we want people to know that they're welcome and accepted here", he said. "On that date, we not only applied the policy to new and subsequent arrestees, we also re-assessed the detainer requests on all inmates in our custody at that time, some of whom had been there for many months".