Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence debunks common sanctuary city myths

On September 26, Matthew Albence, Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, conducted a press briefing to highlight the human cost of “sanctuary” laws and policies which prevent county law enforcement agencies from participating in ICE 287(g) programs. Agreements with ICE under Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act enable local authorities to share information about criminals already in their custody with federal immigration officials.

Accompanied by eight county sheriffs from across the United States and a couple of senior ICE officials, Matt Albence set out to debunk excuses often used by sanctuary jurisdictions to avoid cooperating with ICE.

Segment I: Matt Albence emphasizes that ICE focuses its efforts on determined criminals.

One myth repeated in perpetuity by sanctuary jurisdictions is that ICE doesn’t prioritize its law enforcement resources. In fact, ninety percent of the people arrested in the U.S. interior are convicted criminals; persons who have been charged with a criminal violation; are immigration fugitives; or have already been through the immigration court process, were deported, and reentered illegally, which is a federal felony.

“Immigration fugitives” are individuals who have been through the immigration court system and exhausted all forms of due process, have an order of removal from an immigration judge, and have failed to comply with that removal order.

Segment II: Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence addresses specious claims that local jurisdictions cannot honor ICE detainers.

Many sanctuary jurisdictions assert that they cannot hand over criminal aliens in their custody unless ICE provides an arrest warrant signed by a federal judge. Those who make this argument are either willfully ignorant or downright disingenuous.

In fact, federal law does not provide any mechanism by which judicial warrants are issued for civil immigration violations. No judge or magistrate in this country has lawful authority to issue a warrant for a civil immigration violation. Rather, Congress has granted this authority to supervisory immigration officers alone. This is one of the ways in which the U.S. immigration enforcement system differs from the criminal justice system.

Segment III: Matthew Albence debunks the empty claim that sanctuary jurisdictions want to encourage the reporting of crimes.

Sanctuary advocates proclaim that community trust in local police forces will be degraded if local law enforcement agencies work with ICE. What they do not acknowledge is that when released criminal aliens commit further crimes, their first target is often the very immigrant communities that sanctuary proponents claim to be protecting.

What about crime victims who do report crimes, only to watch as law enforcement agencies ignore the illegality of the person they just arrested and release him, knowing that ICE was prepared to remove that threat from the community?


Filed Under