The leaders of the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA) met with Immigration and Customs Enforcement last Thursday to discuss the catch and release of criminal aliens and the need for a federal warrant on immigration.
The meeting came at a time when local law enforcement and ICE are facing criticism by the public for releasing criminal aliens after capture.
Local law enforcement say a disconnection between local ICE officials and their Washington D.C. counterparts is also noticeable, saying that ICE agents and officers have grown frustrated with the politics of the issue in Washington.
“They have been sworn to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the nation and there have been many, many cases where they are being told, don’t uphold that portion of the law. Uphold this portion of the law. I imagine that’s a very harrowing and frustrating situation for anybody to be in,” one source told The Daily Caller.
Local sheriffs’ departments want clearer terms when it comes to detaining illegal immigrants. According to NSA Executive Director Jonathan Thompson, the NSA spoke with ICE about the idea of a federal warrant on immigration.
“We would like to see a federal warrant on immigration. We’ve asked for that. We would like to know the terms on which they’re asking local sheriffs to hold somebody, and the terms may be including the charges that raise the concern to the feds to put them on that place hold list,” Thompson said. “They could include felony charges, murder convictions in other countries—whatever the case may be. That information as we speak today is not part of the detainer request.”
NSA president and Laramie, Wyoming, Sheriff Danny Glick agreed, telling TheDC, “There’s a lot of fixing that needs to be done here. The authority is being taken away or the ability to enforce the laws that are there.”
He continued, “In the federal government’s corner they’re ignoring illegal immigration laws that are on the books and through this prioritization… what they’re doing is they’re taking the absolute worst of the worst and letting too many of the others go.”
Glick notes it is difficult for local authorities to handle some criminal aliens as the county has to work on the local charges and wait for the individuals to be adjudicated. Additionally, according to Glick, “Notifications are made that this person is going to be released, and if you’ve got a hold you’ve got to come and get him.”
Both Glick and Thompson also spoke to ICE officials about how to identify illegal immigrant when they are in custody. One such idea was to have information shared back and forth through a data release between ICE and local county sheriff’s offices.
Thompson says that ICE asked for help from NSA when it came it sanctuary city policies that prove as obstacles for detaining suspects who are not citizens of the U.S. and have a federal warrant out on them.
“They asked us for help in that, because they too are frustrated. Several jurisdictions throughout the country that do have sanctuary laws and policies in place and they happen to be high traffic areas.”
He explained, “[ICE] asked us, ‘can we work with those governors — those legislatures and those sheriffs to improve the detainer program?’ We’re committed to doing that. That’s something we will take away as an action item and try and figure out.”