State and local police departments had previously arrested the illegal aliens, who committed serious crimes, but they refused to turn them over to federal immigration authorities because of their sanctuary city policies.
“The individuals arrested by ICE clearly pose a significant threat to public safety, yet Chicago-area sanctuary policies prevent law enforcement agencies from turning these criminals over to the federal government,” said Tony Pham, ICE’s senior official performing the duties of the director.
“These terrible policies protect dangerous criminals and street gang members over Chicago’s own citizens,” he said.
ICE highlighted its arrest of four Mexican nationals with violent criminal records.
Immigration agents arrested Octavio Plata on Aug. 31, three days after the Cook County jail released him in defiance of an immigration detainer and despite the likelihood that he would re-offend.
When Cook County released Plata, he had already been found guilty of driving under the influence. He was also awaiting trial for criminal sexual assault in Chicago.
Yet, the Cook County jail released him on Aug. 28.
“There is no justifiable reason to politicize public safety so that the end result is the release of drug dealers, violent criminals and sexual predators into American communities,” Pham said.
“We will do what we can as a partner with the American people to keep our communities safe by doing our part in removing these dangerous individuals,” he continued.
Immigration agents also arrested and removed Hector Gomez–Gutierrez, a Mexican gang member, whom authorities had deported two previous times.
Before the Cook County jail refused to turn him over to immigration authorities and released him, he had been convicted of manufacturing and delivering a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and armed robbery.
Gomez–Gutierrez was deported on Sept. 11.
ICE agents arrested Alfonso Orozco–Gaspar, also a Mexican national and gang member, whom immigration authorities deported two times in the past.
Cook County authorities have charged Orozco–Gaspar and convicted him on multiple counts of domestic battery and violation of protective orders.
The federal government charged and convicted him with reentering the United States after being deported.
Orozco–Gaspar awaits deportation in ICE custody.
ICE agents arrested and removed Juan Alberto Gonzalez–Ayala, who had been found guilty of first degree murder. He was sentenced to serve 14 years in state prison for the crime.
ICE finally deported Gonzalez–Ayala on Sept. 4, six years after an immigration judge ordered authorities to remove him.
Since state and local law enforcement in Chicago will not protect citizens, Thomas Feeley, interim field office director for ICE’s Chicago Field Office, said the federal government will do the work for them.
“Our aim is to protect against future victims and keep our communities safe with each arrest of these wanted perpetrators,” Feeley said. “Chicago will not be a safe haven for criminal aliens to reside and commit further crimes.”