Rhode Island Court Released Illegal Immigrant Arrested For Child Molestation Despite Detainer, ICE Says

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Jason Hopkins Immigration Reporter
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Rhode Island law enforcement officials released an illegal immigrant arrested for child molestation despite a detainer request lodged against him, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

ICE agents apprehended a 22-year-old Guatemalan national charged locally with first-degree child molestation and domestic assault in Rhode Island, the agency announced in a press release on Friday. The agency is blasting local officials in the state for releasing the alien back into the community despite an immigration detainer placed on him.

“This unlawfully present individual was arrested locally on first degree child molestation charges and was released back into the community despite an immigration detainer,” ERO Boston Field Office Director Todd M. Lyons said in the press release. “We believe it is in the interest of the community that jurisdictions honor our immigration detainers so that ICE can take direct custody of individuals like this who pose a threat to residents.”

Border Patrol apprehended the Guatemalan national, who remained unidentified in the press release, in November 2018 after he was seen attempting to illegally enter the U.S. near Nogales, Arizona. He was served with a notice to appear before an immigration judge and released from federal custody in January 2019.

The Providence Police Department issued an arrest warrant for the Guatemalan national in November 2022 on child molestation and sexual assault charges. Providence police arrested him on the outstanding warrant and domestic assault charges on February 28, 2024. (RELATED: Local Authorities Ignored Detainer, Released Illegal Alien Convicted Of Sex Crimes Against A Child, ICE Says)

Immigration officer. Shutterstock

Immigration officer. Shutterstock

Following the illegal immigrant’s booking into a local correctional institution, federal immigration authorities lodged a detainer request for him. However, ICE says this request was ignored, and he was released back into the community by the order of the Sixth District Court of Rhode Island.

The agency reported that deportation officers were able to apprehend the individual “without incident” later that day. He is due to remain in ICE custody pending a hearing before an immigration judge.

The apprehension was the latest in the agency’s ongoing drive to apprehend and deport criminal illegal immigrants, despite a lack of cooperation from numerous state and jurisdictions across the country. ICE has taken particular umbrage with New England communities as of late, having called out local authorities in Massachusetts and Connecticut in past weeks for their refusal to honor immigration detainer requests.

A major issue of concern are detainer requests, which are lodged by ICE agents when a suspected illegal immigrant is placed into custody at a local or state detention facility. These detainers ask authorities to notify the agency in advance if they plan on releasing the alien, and also ask that they maintain custody long enough to allow deportation officers enough time to make an apprehension.

The debate over how much local law enforcement officials should cooperate with ICE has remained a hot button issue in Rhode Island for years. Like the rest of New England, the state is heavily Democratic, and many Rhode Island lawmakers remain supportive of pro-sanctuary city legislation.

A spokesperson for the City of Providence did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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