Chicago/Cook County Declined 1,071 ICE Detainers on Aliens, Immigration Violators in FY19

Michael W. Chapman | March 4, 2020 | 11:23am EST
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( -- Law enforcement in Cook County, Ill., which includes Chicago, a "sanctuary city" for illegal aliens, "released 1,070 criminal aliens and immigration violators in Fiscal Year 2019" despite requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to "notify the agency prior to their release," said ICE in a press release

A detainer is used when ICE believes a person arrested on criminal charges is subject to removal from the United States because they are a foreign national, often aliens illegally in the country. The detainer asks local law enforcement to "notify ICE in advance of release and to maintain custody of the alien for a brief period of time so that ICE can take custody of that person," said the agency.

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(Getty Images)

Sanctuary City Chicago and Cook County ignore 1,071 of those detainers in FY2019. 

“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, ICE’s acting deputy executive associate director for Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

“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," said Lucero. "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.”

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(Getty Images)

As for some of the criminal illegal aliens who were released in Cook County because the ICE detainers were declined, the agency reported the following: 

  • Rasheed Abass, a 50-year-old South African national, was arrested in June for indecent exposure. In July, he was arrested for assault. ICE lodged detainers after both arrests. His current location is unknown.
    Kennete Acevedo Ortiz, also known as Kennev Vasques-Rugama, a 28-year-old Nicaraguan national, was arrested at least three times in FY 2019. His first arrest was in December 2018 for driving under the influence. Acevedo Ortiz was arrested two additional times in 2019; in February for domestic violence and in March for failure to appear. ICE lodged a detainer following each arrest. He is currently in Illinois Department of Corrections’ custody.  
  • On Dec. 3, 2018, ICE lodged a detainer with the Cook County Jail on Rokas Ablacinskas, a 22-year-old citizen of Lithuania, following his arrest for attempted murder, aggravated battery of a victim over
    the age of 60 and aggravated battery in a public place. Without notifying ICE, the Cook County Jail released Ablacinskas Sept. 17, 2019, and he remains at large in the community.  
  • On, Dec. 10, 2018, ICE lodged a detainer with the Cook County Jail on Isidro Ramirez-Hernandez, a 52-year-old citizen of Mexico, following his arrest for aggravated domestic battery and strangulation. Despite an active immigration detainer, the Cook County Jail released Ramirez-Hernandez March 18, 2019, and he remains at large in the community.    
  • On Aug. 10, 2019, ICE lodged a detainer with the Cook County Jail on Mahmoud Abu Maghli, a 27-year-old citizen of Jordan, following his arrest by the Burbank (Illinois) Police Department for recklessly discharging a firearm. He remains in the Cook County Jail where, under existing sanctuary laws, he will be released into the community. 

"When law enforcement agencies don’t honor ICE detainers, these individuals, who often have significant criminal histories, are released onto the street, presenting a potential public safety threat," said ICE. 

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(Getty Images)

"Any local jurisdiction thinking that refusing to cooperate with ICE will result in a decrease in local immigration enforcement is mistaken," reported the agency.  "Local jurisdictions that choose to not cooperate with ICE are likely to see an increase in ICE enforcement activity, as the agency has no choice but to conduct more at-large arrest operations."

Last week, illegal alien Christopher Puente was arrested for sexually assaulting a three-year-old girl in a McDonald's bathroom in Chicago. ICE had lodged a detainer on Puente in June 2019 but the Chicago Police Department ignored it and Puente was free to roam the streets and allegedly commit crimes. 

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