News & Politics

Sheriff's Office Ignores ICE Retainer and Releases Illegal Alien Who Then Rapes a Woman

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer looks on during an operation in Escondido, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

This is incomprehensible and indefensible.

An illegal alien was released from the custody of the Oklahoma County Sheriff after authorities refused to honor a hold issued by ICE. Upon being released, the illegal went directly to the house of a woman and raped her.

ICE agents arrested the man on Wednesday.

The agency said in a statement that the actions of the sheriff’s office were “in direct contravention of federal immigration law.”

National Review:

“Unfortunately, this is not an isolated event,” the statement said. “A few months ago, Oklahoma County decided to no longer honor ICE detainers and began releasing criminal aliens back into the local community at the expense of law-abiding citizens.”

“It is unconscionable that someone who is sworn to uphold the law would find it acceptable to release an alleged rapist who is illegally present in the U.S. back into the community when there are other options available under federal immigration law,” read a statement from Marc Moore, the field-office director for ICE Dallas. “Within a few hours of being released, this illegal alien was back at the home of the rape victim where he was free to re-victimize her and harm other members of the community.”

“Fortunately, ICE deportation officers were able to quickly locate this individual and safely take him back into custody,” Moore said.

This is a perfect example of public safety taking a back seat to political expediency. The sheriff’s office knew of the criminal history of this illegal. They are also aware that the policy they are following will lead to tragedy for some of their citizens.

But it’s more important to them to appear tolerant and accepting rather than simply do what’s necessary to protect the people.

The sheriff’s office issued a statement in their defense:

ICE erroneously reported that the OCSO arrested the individual when another law enforcement agency made the arrest. Another factual error made by ICE is they described the arrestee as being charged with rape. The arresting agency booked the person on a complaint, but he was never formally charged with a crime by the arresting agency. The arresting agency contacted OCSO and issued a release pending their investigation.

Law enforcement routinely holds suspects accused of a violent crime for 48 hours so their detectives can make a case.

The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office is not a sanctuary county as we have always worked with ICE, we even provide the agency space in the jail to staff their agents. ICE did not have a warrant for OCSO to hold the individual, but we did contact ICE before his release and notified the agency that they would need to send someone to pick him up on their ‘hold.’ ICE had an hour and a half to take the individual into custody but did not send anyone to pick up the individual before his scheduled release, and without any legal authority to hold the individual he was released.

Why the rush to release someone accused of rape? Once told by ICE to hold him, why release him at all?

I’m not buying the excuse of the OCSO that it’s ICE’s fault. They screwed up and are refusing to take responsibility. It may be that there is a level of distrust between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities — made worse by a hyper-political atmosphere where taking into custody any illegal can be criticized.

But there’s no excuse for what happened to that woman.