ICE Issues Subpoenas for Information Blocked By California's Sanctuary Law

Posted: Feb 15, 2020 9:21 PM

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to issue subpoenas in an effort to obtain information about criminal aliens from local agencies that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. ICE announced on Friday that the federal agency had served four subpoenas to the San Diego County Sheriff's Office (SDSO) who are unable to share information with ICE due to California's sanctuary law. 

(Via ICE) 

Issuance of these immigration subpoenas is necessary because the SDSO is forced to comply with California’s sanctuary state laws, and therefore cannot cooperate in honoring immigration detainers or requests for non-public information to assist in locating criminal aliens that have been or will be released from custody.

“The public needs to be aware and concerned that California sanctuary state laws do not protect public safety and is bad public policy. Criminal aliens are being released back into the community daily and most will re-offend resulting in more victims.  For ICE, the most concerning part about dealing with uncooperative jurisdictions, or places that are not allowed to work with us, is that we don’t always know who is being arrested, when they’ll be released, or if they are at-large in the community again, ” said Gregory Archambeault, San Diego Field Office Director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in San Diego.

ICE previously announced the agency had issued subpoenas earlier this month to another sanctuary jurisdiction. ICE issued three subpoenas to obtain information on three criminal aliens, convicted of charges that include manslaughter, burglary and robbery in Connecticut. 

In January, ICE announced that it had issued several subpoenas to agencies in both New York City and Denver in an effort to obtain information about criminal alines released from their custody. 

In a statement, ICE acknowledged the agency has not historically issued subpoenas in order to obtain basic information about criminal aliens. But with sanctuary policies in places like Connecticut, law enforcement agencies no longer cooperate with federal immigration authorities and the lack of cooperation threatens public safety.

Should the law enforcement agencies ignore ICE's subpoenas, the U.S. Attorney's Office can work with an immigration officer to obtain an order from the U.S. District Court to require the production of evidence under subpoena.