King County, Washington Sheriff’s Office Refused to Honor Over 370 ICE Detainers

Press Releases

July 23, 2019

IRLI investigation reveals that King County released criminal alienswith previous convictions or pending criminal charges

WASHINGTON — An investigation by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) reveals that the King County (Washington) Sheriff’s Office (KCSO), which includes Seattle, has refused to honor a staggering number of immigration detainer requests for illegal aliens charged with serious felonies, an indictment of the county’s unconstitutional sanctuary laws.

In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by IRLI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released records regarding law enforcement agencies that failed to honor ICE detainer requests. For a 27-month period ending on December 31, 2017, KCSO refused to honor over 370 immigration holds, almost 290 of which were classified by ICE as threat level 1 and 2 offenses. These included but were not limited to, homicide, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, drugs, burglary, and fraud.

“State and local elected leaders like to congratulate themselves for the compassion of their sanctuary policies, but they are actually bringing violent crime and even death to their residents,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “The people of King County should be outraged and demand accountability from their leaders. Refusing ICE detainer requests means releasing dangerous criminals into the community, period.”

IRLI is awaiting additional data from ICE that would show how many illegal aliens charged with serious felonies were released from jail and later charged with additional crimes.

King County recently experienced several horrific crimes committed by illegal aliens. According to the KCSO, a wheelchair-bound woman reported that Francisco Carranza-Ramirez, a 35-year-old criminal alien from Mexico, assaulted her on three occasions. However, ICE was not notified.

In February of this year, Carranza-Ramirez was sentenced to only 12 months in prison for the crime but was released early from prison this month for time served in custody and good credit. Three days after his release from prison, Carranza-Ramirez broke into the victim’s home again and physically assaulted her. He has since fled the United States for Mexico.

While Seattle’s homicide rate in 2018 is the highest in 10 years and the total number of violent crimes in 2018 — including rape, robbery, and assault — also hit a 10-year high, Democratic presidential candidate Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed the state’s sanctuary law. It restricts law enforcement agencies from asking anyone about their immigration status and prohibits state and local prisons from complying with ICE detainers or notifying ICE when an inmate is about to be released from custody. Moreover, Washington’s Attorney General will be issuing new rules limiting ICE’s ability to make arrests in courthouses, hospitals, and other state government facilities.

Without offering any evidence, Jorge Baron, head of the controversial anti-borders Northwest Immigrants’ Rights Project, said the rules would increase public safety by making migrants and their families less afraid to report crimes or come forward as witnesses.

According to ICE’s former Acting Director Tom Homan, however, “If, by chance, a victim of a crime talks to ICE, they [illegal aliens] could actually become eligible to obtain legal authorization to remain in the U.S. as a victim. That is a fact you never hear anti-ICE groups acknowledge.”

Homan further stated “ICE’s ability to access a jail to speak with an illegal immigrant who’s in violation of federal law and has been locked up for a crime presents no danger at all to victims or witnesses. The fact is if you look up recidivism rates, 50 percent of those criminals will re-offend within the first year, and as many as 75 percent will re-offend within five years.”

For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • [email protected]

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