U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is using a new strategy to educate the public in Pennsylvania about the dangers of sanctuary policies. A large number of counties in Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia have laws protecting criminal aliens from ICE.
"Too often sanctuary policies limiting cooperation with ICE result in significant public safety concerns," said Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director Tony H. Pham. "ICE will continue to enforce immigration laws set forth by Congress through the efforts of the men and women of ICE to remove criminal aliens and making our communities safer."
ICE has launched a new billboard campaign to warn Pennsylvanians about the dangers of sanctuary policies. When local law enforcement fails to honor immigration detainers, criminal aliens are released back to the community and given a chance to re-offend.
Six billboards featuring at-large immigration violators who may pose a threat to public safety have gone up in the state.
Here's what they look like:
Han Soo Lee is a 61-year-old South Korean national arrested by Philadelphia police for aggravated assault, simple assault, possessing an instrument of crime, and recklessly endangering. The detainer ICE lodged with Curran-Fromhold Detention Center was ignored and Lee was released to the community.
Mike Bwondara is a 36-year-old Kenyan national arrested by Philadelphia police on July 22 for aggravated assault, possession of an instrument of crime with intent, simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person. ICE's detainer was ignored by the Philadelphia Police Department due to Philadelphia's sanctuary laws. Bwondara was released back to the community.
Lauro Peralta-Veles is a 51-year-old Ecuadorian national who was arrested by the Pittsburgh Police Department on June 20 for aggravated assault, public intoxication, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. ICE lodged a detainer with the Allegheny County Jail but the detainer was ignored due to sanctuary laws in Allegheny County. The criminal alien was released to the community.
ICE put up three other billboards, each featuring a criminal alien who was released by the Philadelphia Police Department despite an active immigration detainer logged against them.
ICE is asking people with information about the whereabouts of any of the individuals featured on the billboards to call 866-DHS-2-ICE (866-347-2423).