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Protecting Illegal Criminals is a Crime That "Defies Logic": President Trump Hosts Blunt Round Table Talks on Sanctuary Cities
News Staff : Mar 21, 2018 : Whitehouse.gov
"We are told, on one hand, to focus our efforts on criminals. But those same folks that want us to focus on criminals don't let us in the county jail. It just defies logic: Concentrate on criminals, but don't come into our county jail. As a result, many of my officers are forced to make arrests out in this community. Ask any law enforcement officer—arresting a public safety threat on his turf, where he has access to weapons, is a significant danger to men and women of ICE and other law enforcement officers." -ICE Director Tom Homan
(Washington, DC)—[Whitehouse.gov] The following are excerpts from a roundtable meeting called by President Trump yesterday in Washington to discuss the current Sanctuary City crisis: (Screengrab: President Trump's roundtable on sanctuary cities/WhiteHouse.gov)
THE PRESIDENT: I am honored to be joined today by top law enforcement officials, members of Congress, Secretary Nielsen, Attorney General Sessions, to discuss the threat of the very lawless, in many cases, sanctuary cities. They're causing a lot of problems for this country.
Sanctuary cities release thousands of criminal aliens out of our prisons and jails and back into our communities. They go into those sanctuary cities when they see them; they go there because they feel they're safe. And in many cases, they are very bad actors. We have gang members; we have predators, rapists, killers. A lot of bad people.
To underscore the scope of that threat we face, last year alone, ICE arrested illegal immigrants with 48,000 charges or convictions for assault; 11,000 for sex crimes; 1,800 for killing people and other homicide-related offenses. And we have offenses that are so great we're not even going to talk about them right now. They are so great.
Last September, an illegal immigrant was arrested by San Francisco Police for spousal abuse. ICE filed a detainer on the individual, but the detainer was denied and the alien was released. Less than 10 days later, the same illegal immigrant was arrested for murder. Many cases like that.
In another case, an alleged illegal gang member was arrested by the San Francisco Police Department more than 10 times between 2013 and 2017 for charges including domestic battery, assault, theft, and rape. But San Francisco refused to cooperate with ICE. And he kept getting released. Over and over again, he was released. Sanctuary cities and states like California put innocent Americans at the mercy of hardened criminals, hardened murderers, in many cases.
Yet House and Senate Democrats voted nearly unanimously in favor of sanctuary cities. Explain that. We're looking to have safe cities, folks. Safe cities. They're also blocking the bed space we need on the omnibus to stop catch and release. Catch and release. We catch a killer, we have to release him. We need the extra beds so that we don't have to release him. Bed space is very important. It's being negotiated right now.
Democrats' priority is to protect criminals, not to do what's right for our country. My priority and the priority of my administration is to serve, protect, and defend the citizens of the United States.
So, we have tremendous people around this table, people that know what's happening, know what's going on.
And maybe, Tom, I'd like to start with you. You could say a few words quickly, and we'll go around the table.
Thank you very much.
ACTING DIRECTOR TOM HOMAN: Thanks for inviting me to this important discussion. And I'm proud to represent the 20,000 American heroes that work at ICE.
As many of you know, ICE just recently conducted a series of plans targeting enforcement operations in California in jurisdictions that no longer cooperate with federal law enforcement officers thanks to a statewide sanctuary policy. To meet our mission, we conduct operations like this across the country every day. They are based on intelligence-driven leads.
So, let me be clear: There are no raids, there are no sweeps. Everybody we arrest is a targeted enforcement operation. We know exactly who we're going to arrest and exactly where we're going to find them, most of the time.
In fiscal year 2017, for example, for those people that say we don't prioritize re-arrest, 81 percent of all aliens we arrested in California last year were convicted criminals. We also prioritize fugitives and aliens who have illegally reentered the United States, which is a felony by the mere fact of reentering after being formally removed.
But let me be clear: As I've said many times, it's a crime to enter this state—enter the United States illegally. It's under the Title 8 code. And ICE officers shouldn't be condemned because they're upholding their sworn oath and enforcing the laws that Congress enacted.
We are told, on one hand, to focus our efforts on criminals. But those same folks that want us to focus on criminals don't let us in the county jail. It just defies logic: Concentrate on criminals, but don't come into our county jail.
As a result, many of my officers are forced to make arrests out in this community. Ask any law enforcement officer—and we got many sitting around this table—arresting a public safety threat on his turf, where he has access to weapons, is a significant danger to men and women of ICE and other law enforcement officers.
Many of our local law enforcement officers—our partners in California—some at this table, also oppose the dangerous policies of sanctuary—policies imposed by Sacramento, including the California State Sherriff's Association. They have disagreed with the governor. They have come out with a press statement saying they're not allowed to communicate with ICE the way they want to, and they have to release public safety threats out into the public, which they don't want to do.
Following passage of SB-54, they issued a statement. Let me quote them. This comes from the California State Sherriff's Association: "This legislation contains significant liabilities that restrict communications with federal law enforcement about the release of wanted, undocumented criminals from our jails, including known gang members, repeat drunk drivers, persons who assault peace officers, serial thieves, and abusers and other serious offenders."
As we know, criminals—all you got to do is Google. The recidivism rate now in California is over 50 percent. Over half these people that get released will reoffend the first year.
Let me talk about a couple of recent examples. What just happened in Northern California and Oakland. A law enforcement agency in Merced County, California arrested a Mexican national for robbery and multiple weapons violations, including carrying a concealed weapon, and willful discharge of a firearm and gross negligence. This alien was previously released from local custody back into the community in November 2017, following his arrest for conspiracy to commit crime and vandalism. Despite the fact we issued a detainer, he was released.
He is one of the many public safety threats we targeted during the most recent operation in Northern California that we weren't able to locate.
Since our operation in San Francisco and Oakland, three of the people we couldn't locate have since reoffended. The one person I just talked about was just arrested for robbery and multiple weapons violations. (Photo: President Trump's roundtable on sanctuary cities/via the Conservative Treehouse)
Another person we just arrested that we failed to locate in the open area was just arrested for his third DUI. Third DUI. So, if he's getting arrested three times, how many times has he committed this crime? That is a public safety threat. He also has been convicted for false imprisonment and battery of spouse. But we couldn't locate him during this latest operation. Again, released from a jail.
And there's a third targeted criminal that we attempted to arrest in San Francisco area, and he just got rearrested for corporeal injury of a spouse.
There's two follow-up points I'd like to make. First, these policies are being used by criminal organizations in Mexico and Central America. It's a selling tactic for them to get the smuggled aliens to a sanctuary jurisdiction, where even local law enforcement won't cooperate with ICE, thereby bankrolling the very criminal organizations that smuggle these aliens, or bankrolling the very criminal organizations that have killed Border Patrol agents and special agents.
Further, sanctuary laws help employers to exploit illicit—illegal workers with low wages and poor working conditions. I want to be clear on sanctuary policies. ICE isn't asking local law enforcement to be ICE officers. We don't want them out making vehicle stops, asking immigration questions.
What we want them to do is give federal law enforcement officers unfettered access to a county jail to take custody of somebody that's in the country illegally and yet commit another crime against a citizen of this country. It's safer for the officers; it's safer for the community. These people go out and reoffend in the very communities they live, which is immigrant communities. Sanctuary cities do not protect the immigrant community. They put them in harm's way.
Thank you, Mr. President, for the opportunity.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Great job you've done, Tom. Not easy, but a great job.
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