Oregon’s Democratic leaders say federal immigration detention requests, commonly known as detainers, often target illegal immigrants who are in jail for non-violent or petty crimes.
But inmate profiles maintained by the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) tell a different story.
The vast majority of criminal aliens in Oregon’s prison system have been convicted of homicide, rape and other violent crimes, according to David Olen Cross, an independent crime researcher based in Salem, Ore.
Cross regularly pulls DOC data on the criminal alien population and compiles it into reports that categorize inmates by county, category of offense and country of origin. He obtains the information on behalf of Republican state Sen. Kim Thatcher in order to document the cost of incarcerating foreign nationals in the Oregon prison system, where one in 15 inmates is a criminal alien.
The Oregon DOC does not disclose which inmates are in the U.S. illegally, only those who fall under the broader category of foreign nationals.
Cross provided The Daily Caller News Foundation with his latest report, shedding light on0 the public safety threat posed by Oregon’s criminal alien population.
There were 986 criminal aliens with outstanding Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers locked up in Oregon state prisons as of July 1, according to Cross’ report. Of those, a combined total of 468 — or 47 percent — had convictions for rape, sexual abuse or sodomy, which Oregon state law defines as “deviate sexual intercourse” committed forcibly or against children under 12 years old.
Another 138 criminal aliens — 14 percent of the total — had committed homicidal crimes, which include various degrees of murder and manslaughter. Other types of violent crime were also well-represented: a combined total of 134 criminal aliens — 13.5 percent of the total — were convicted for robbery or assault.
Overall, three-fourths of the criminal aliens in the state prison system were serving time for what the FBI defines as violent crimes — murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault — or other sex crimes in the Oregon criminal code.
The data illuminate an uncomfortable truth about crime in Oregon: the degree of criminality among the illegal alien population is significantly higher than that of native-born inmates. While 75 percent of the criminal aliens in Oregon prisons had convictions for the serious crimes noted above, just 60 percent of “domestic” inmates were serving time for those offenses, according to Cross’ report.
Oregon is one of the nation’s most active states when it comes to limiting cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. It has had a sanctuary state law on the books since 1987, and Brown recently signed into law additional restrictions on the collection and sharing of immigration-related information with the federal government. (RELATED: Forget California, Oregon Is The Foremost ‘Sanctuary State’ In The US)
State officials have been particularly fastidious about refusing to honor ICE detainers. In 2014, a U.S. magistrate judge found that Clackamas County violated the Fourth Amendment rights of an illegal immigrant, Maria Miranda-Olivares, when it held her on an ICE detainer after she was eligible for bail. To avoid further civil lawsuits, the Oregon Sheriffs Association recommended that jail officials stop responding to immigration detention requests unless they were backed by a federal arrest warrant.
Of the five Oregon counties that send the most criminal aliens to the state prison system, none currently honor ICE detainers.
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