Since California’s controversial sanctuary law went into effect at the beginning of 2018, one county jail has been forced to release more than 2,100 illegal immigrants with immigration detainers on them, according to a Wednesdaynews releasefrom Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Citing data released by Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes earlier this week, the release says that 1,015 of the Orange County Jail’s inmates with ICE detainers were released back into the community without notifying federal authorities in 2019 as a result of the law’s limitations and 1,106 inmates with detainers were released in 2018 without ICE notification for the same reason.
But that’s not all. Of those released without ICE notification, the data says, 411 were later arrested on additional charges. Those charges included rape, assault with a deadly weapon, identify theft, domestic violence, and drunk driving, according to the release.
California’s “sanctuary state” law, SB 54, was signed into law in October 2017 and went into effect in January 2018 and places severalrestrictionson state and local law enforcement’s ability to enforce federal immigration law or cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
In light of the data, Orange County’s sheriff criticized the law, saying that it makes it harder for his department to protect and serve the public.
“SB 54 has made our community less safe,” Barnes said in a statement. “The law has resulted in new crimes because my deputies were unable to communicate with their federal partners about individuals who committed serious offenses and present a threat to our community if released.”
Barnes added, “The two-year social science experiment with sanctuary laws must end. Rather than protect our immigrant community, the law has enabled offenders to be released, often times back into the immigrant communities they prey upon, and create new victims.”
Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence praised Barnes for speaking up against the state’s sanctuary law.
“These policies do nothing but ensure that criminals are released back into the community, where many re-offend, instead of being turned over to ICE,” Albence said. “These are preventable crimes, and more importantly, preventable victims. As the data released by Sheriff Barnes clearly demonstrates, all communities are safer when local law enforcement works with ICE.”
During his 2020 State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, President Donald Trump also criticized California’s sanctuary law, saying that it was “outrageous” and had led to “catastrophic results,” such asthe death of 51-year-old Rocky Jonesat the hands of a released illegal immigrant.