U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that Cook County, Illinois, ignored over 1,000 detainers from ICE during fiscal year 2019, jeopardizing the public's safety by releasing criminal aliens back into the community.
In a press release, ICE stated Cook County released 1,070 criminal aliens in fiscal year 2019, despite detainers from ICE requesting notification prior to their release.
"The most concerning issue about working in an area that refuses to cooperate with ICE is not only that we do not know which criminal aliens are being released from custody, but the public doesn’t know either," said Henry Lucero, an ICE official with Enforcement and Removal Operations. "Because ICE does not have access to standard Illinois law enforcement databases, it’s difficult to accurately account for all the aliens who have been arrested, released and committed additional crimes. However, with the limited information ICE can verify, we know that police resources are being wasted, more people are being victimized, and it’s a matter of time until something more significant happens."
ICE gave multiple examples of the types of criminals that were released by Cook County during the previous fiscal year.
A 50-year-old South African national, Rasheed Abass, was arrested for indecent exposure. Abass was released and then arrested again, this time for assault. ICE lodged detainers following both arrests but was ignored in both instances. The criminal alien's current whereabouts are unknown.
Rokas Ablacinskas is a 22-year-old Lithuanian citizen who was arrested for attempted murder and aggravated battery of a person over the age of 60. Cook County ignored an ICE detainer, releasing the violent alien back into the community last September.
Isidro Ramirez-Hernandez is a 52-year-old Mexican citizen who was arrested on aggravated domestic battery and strangulation. Cook County released the criminal alien back into the community instead of handing him over to ICE agents.
Mahmoud Abu Maghli is a 27-year-old citizen of Jordan who recklessly discharged a firearm. He currently sits in Cook County Jail but will also be released soon under current sanctuary policy.
Criminal aliens, who oftentimes have very violent criminal histories, are simply being released back onto the streets under sanctuary policies. ICE warns of the dangers posed to the public safety when law enforcement agencies are prevented from cooperating with federal immigration authorities.