Fairfax County, Virginia denied more than 900 detainers that Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued to try criminal illegal aliens for deportation, the Immigration Reform Law Institute found in an investigation.
The sanctuary county received 929 detainer requests within a two-year period, from May 23, 2018 to May 6, 2020. The Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office determined that 14 of these were “lawfully issued criminal detainer[s].”
This means that Fairfax County rejected 915 warrants on the grounds that a judge needs to sign ICE’s warrants, as the Fourth Amendment prescribes.
Congress has given federal immigration agents the right to issue unsigned warrants because illegal aliens do not have the same protections as American citizens.
“Requiring criminal warrants is the latest cynical tactic of sanctuary jurisdictions seeking to obstruct federal immigration authorities,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI.
“The criteria for handing over a criminal alien are set artificially high to make it almost impossible for ICE to comply,” he said.
Fairfax County announced in 2018 that it will not hold criminal illegal aliens in custody for an additional 48 hours so that ICE agents can prepare to arrest them upon release.
IRLI said the findings also reveal how many criminal illegal aliens the sanctuary county draws.
“There is nothing unacceptable about any detainer that seeks to remove criminals from our neighborhoods,” said Tom Homan, senior fellow at IRLI and former acting director of ICE.
“There is nothing unacceptable about law enforcement working hand in hand with other law enforcement to protect our communities and keep our streets safer,” he continued. “What IS unacceptable is when a law enforcement leader chooses politics over public safety and fails to protect the communities he is sworn to protect.”
Fairfax County escalated its obstruction of ICE’s work with a new order in May.
The county approved an order that prevents ICE agents from accessing county buildings and instructs local police officers not to arrest and book illegal aliens for minor offenses so that agents cannot track them in public records.