Three people might still be alive today if a prison in Middlesex County, New Jersey, didn’t have a sanctuary policy for illegal aliens, an immigration official charged on Tuesday morning on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”
Earlier this month in Springfield, Missouri, Luis Rodrigo Perez, 23, a Mexican national, was charged with fatally shooting two men and a woman on November 1 while wounding two others.
The Middlesex House of Correction and Jail had released the man from custody several months earlier on domestic violence charges. And while U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had an order to arrest him, the jail ignored that because of a sanctuary policy it adopted.
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“This is a tragedy that might have been avoided if counties like Middlesex honored the ICE detainer,” John Tsoukaris, an ICE deportation operations field director in Newark, told host Laura Ingraham on Tuesday morning.
“Unfortunately, we have three people who are dead now because of this favor to comply with federal law. Their policy basically is designed, I feel, to impede or stop ICE from enforcing the law. For example, the policy requires ICE to get a federal judge warrant to arrest before they will comply with any request. This requirement is contrary to law.”
The Immigration and Nationality Act does indeed allow border agents to issue arrest warrants.
Yet the Board of Chosen Freeholders dismissed this federal power when it adopted a sanctuary policy for the jail in March 2017.
The board oversees the jail alongside the county sheriff’s office.
“We enjoy great cooperation with law enforcement from across the state including in Middlesex County,” Tsoukaris said. “Police departments and officers work closely with us on safety matters all the time. It’s just that in this individual case, the Middlesex County jail is not honoring these ICE detainers and basically protecting criminal aliens.”
“It’s very unfortunate and it’s very dangerous and we saw it play out, unfortunately, with this tragedy,” he added.
The sanctuary policies refer to regions such as cities or organizations that do not fully cooperate with federal immigration officials to protect illegal immigration.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) didn’t have its detainer honored because of it — and the agency wasn’t even notified when he was released.
“Yet again, an ICE detainer was ignored and a dangerous criminal alien was released to the streets and is now charged with killing three people,” ICE Acting Executive Associate Director Corey Price said on November 9.
“Had ICE’s detainer request in December 2017 been honored by Middlesex County Jail, Luis Rodrigo Perez would have been placed in deportation proceedings and likely sent home to his country — and three innocent people might be alive today. It is past time that localities realize the perils of dangerous sanctuary policies and resume their primary goal of protecting their residents.”
Tsoukaris thinks these officials might be purposely trying to make it difficult on purpose to protect illegal aliens.
He warned it won’t stop border patrol in the state or elsewhere, but admitted such policies make these professionals’ job a lot harder while putting their lives and other people’s lives at risk.
“This order would have authorized Middlesex County to turn over custody of Mr. Perez prior to or upon completion of his sentence,” Middlesex County officials said in an email to the Associated Press.
“Instead, ICE officials chose to do nothing, which places all responsibility of Mr. Perez’s actions squarely upon ICE.”
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