Deep Blue County Walks Back Sanctuary Policy After Illegal Immigrant Child Sex Offender Released Into Community

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Jason Hopkins Immigration Reporter
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Leaders in a deep blue jurisdiction are agreeing to better coordinate with federal immigration authorities after their county detention center released an illegal immigrant child sex offender from its custody, according to local reports.

In a joint statement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Baltimore County officials on Wednesday announced modifications to their policies on holding illegal immigrants charged with a crime when they are subject to immigration detainer requests, the Baltimore Sun reported. The statement follows uproar over the local release of Raul Calderon-Interiano, a Guatemalan national convicted of child sex abuse and living illegally in the U.S.

Local leaders say they will now make “every effort” to notify federal immigration authorities two days or more before a criminal alien is released from local law enforcement custody. (RELATED: NYC Mayor Reportedly In Talks With ICE On How To Roll Back City’s Sanctuary Laws)

“ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and Baltimore County remain committed to prioritizing public safety while also respecting the constitutional rights of individuals,” the joint statement reads, according to the Sun. “Following a productive meeting with the ERO Baltimore acting field officer director, Baltimore County and ERO officials agreed to adjustments to current county policies in order to best support this shared work, including making every effort to notify ICE officials 48 hours or more prior to an individual’s release whenever possible.”

The announcement came two days after ICE publicly blasted Baltimore County for ignoring their detainer on the Guatemalan illegal immigrant convicted of child sex crimes.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 6: An ICE agent monitors hundreds of asylum seekers being processed upon entering the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building on June 6, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

Baltimore County Police officers arrested Raul Calderon-Interiano, a Guatemalan national living in the U.S. illegally, in January 2023, according to ICE. The original charges alleged he sexually abused a 14 year old and a 13 year old.

He was ultimately ordered to not have any contact with the victims or have unsupervised contact with a minor.

The Circuit Court for Baltimore County convicted Calderon-Interiano of a sex offense and assault in April of this year. Despite being sentenced to six years in prison and subject to an immigration detainer, the court suspended his prison sentence and the Baltimore County Detention Center released Calderon-Interiano back into the community.

Deportation officers were able to apprehend Calderon-Interiano on their own on May 29 in Baltimore, according to the agency’s press release. He will remain in their custody pending his removal proceedings.

The incident reignited debate around sanctuary city policies and how local officials comply with immigration detainers, which are requests to local or state law enforcement agencies to notify ICE as quickly as possible before a removable foreign national is released from their custody, the Sun reported. Detainers request state and local facilities maintain custody of the noncitizen for no more than two days to allow enough time for a deportation officer to arrive and assume custody of the individual.

However, Baltimore County has long had anti-ICE policies in the books that largely prevents local law enforcement from honoring ICE detainers, due to a 2017 executive order issued by the county executive at the time. A local news investigation found that Baltimore County refused to honor 70% of ICE detainers in fiscal year 2023.

Johnny Olszewski, the current Baltimore County executive, is the Democratic nominee for Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District. The joint Baltimore County-ICE statement follows polling that indicates more American voters are shifting right on border enforcement and immigration issues.

“ERO further recognizes and is supportive of Baltimore County’s current policy to release individuals from custody by their court-ordered release date, unless there is a judicial order signed by a judge – a policy that aligns with guidance issued by the Maryland Office of the Attorney General,” the joint statement continued.

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