Jason Hopkins on October 23, 2019
- Former acting ICE director Thomas Homan criticized the sheriff of Los Angeles, a sanctuary city, for releasing waves of criminal illegal aliens from his custody.
- An ICE spokesperson said Tuesday that Los Angeles is releasing around 100 illegal criminal illegal aliens a day, a result of the state’s sanctuary law that was passed in late 2017.
- During the congressional hearing, Democrat Sen. Mazie Hirono appeared surprised that sanctuary communities were releasing, not only low-level criminals, but also illegal aliens accused of violent crimes.
Tom Homan, the former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, reacted to his agency’s assertion that 100 criminals are being released a day in the Los Angeles area under the state’s sanctuary law.
Then-California Gov. Jerry Brown, who deeply opposed the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration, signed into law SB 54, also known as the California Values Act, in October 2017. The legislation largely prohibits local law enforcement officials from using their resources to help Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) apprehend illegal aliens. Passage of the bill gave California the designation as the first “sanctuary state” in the U.S.
Homan argued Wednesday that the law is hurting the people it aimed to protect the most — the immigrant community.
“Since this was signed by Gov. Brown — Jerry Brown, a lot of sheriffs have come out and [made public notice of the] people they released that went on to commit murder and rape,” Homan said Wednesday on Fox News. “So the sheriffs themselves are pushing back. But it’s going to be up to the voters. The voters have got to get out there and make their voices heard on this.”
“This sheriff has taken a political stance. He forgot the oath he’s taken. He stopped being a cop, became a politician, because he is not protecting his community as much as he could,” Homan continued, presumably speaking about Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
Homan’s comments follow a congressional hearing that took place on Tuesday, where an ICE spokesman claimed that around 100 criminal illegal aliens were being released back into the streets in the Los Angeles area alone. The testimony brought national spotlight to the sanctuary policies of California’s most populous city.
“Cooperation between ICE and state and local law enforcement agencies is critical to the agency’s efforts to identify and arrest removable aliens, and to protect the nation’s security,” Timothy Robbins, the acting associate executive director of detention and removal operations at ICE, said during Tuesday’s congressional hearing on sanctuary cities. “Unfortunately, we are seeing more jurisdictions that refuse to work with our officers, or directly impede our public safety efforts.”
While many Democrats have argued that ICE should focus their attention on more serious criminals, one progressive lawmaker at Tuesday’s hearing appeared confused to hear that sanctuary communities are also releasing violent criminals.
“There’s a lot of questions having to do with violent offenders being released. Are you saying that local law enforcement, if they knew they had a violent offender in custody, that they would release those persons?” asked Hawaii Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono asked during her questioning.
“Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying,” Robbins replied. “I can give you an example. I have many examples.”
Hirono, needing clarification, asked several more times if local police are knowingly releasing violent offenders.
“Even when they have the information from you that these are violent offenders, they would release them? … So your testimony is that the local law enforcement releases violent offenders?”
“That’s what we’re talking about today, yes,” Robbins replied.
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