Illinois sheriffs are protesting a recent change in policy by the Governor J.B. Pritzker administration that keeps the Department of Corrections from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel on deportation orders for violent illegal alien criminals.
One sheriff said that the policy change is akin to giving the ex-inmates a “head start to evade federal law.”
“It’s alarming to think that because of a change in policy that suddenly these types of individuals might be walking the streets and we might not even be aware of it,” said Sen. Jason Barickman of Bloomington, one of several GOP lawmakers to sign a letter seeking legislative hearings. “We’re here to first of all call on the administration to reverse this reckless policy and ensure the public that they’re safe.”
But an immigration expert said the practice violates the state Trust Act, the 2017 law that limits local law enforcement agencies’ cooperation with federal immigration officials.
The governor’s office claims that there is only a “pause” in cooperation while aides review policies and procedures followed by ICE. A spokesman for the governor’s office said: “The governor has made it abundantly clear that Illinois will be a firewall against the president’s attacks on immigrant communities.”
Just who is it “attacking immigrant communities”? The administration wanting to protect the public in these communities from violent felons or the governor playing politics with people’s lives?
The state has canceled a contract with ICE where illegal alien criminals facing deportation were transferred to Pontiac Prison downstate to await ICE enforcement. So just who is it the state is setting free?
Of 223 immigrants transferred from Pontiac to ICE detention in 2019, Downey said 11 were convicted of murder or attempted murder, more than four dozen of predatory criminal sexual assault or abuse, including crimes involving children, and 33 were convicted of a crime involving a weapon.
Not surprisingly, ICE isn’t happy with the new arrangement.
Robert Guadian, director of the Chicago field office for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, said in a statement that Illinois “put politics ahead of public safety” when it severed communication between Corrections and ICE. He put the average total of affected inmates higher.
“Now, about 400 convicted criminals per year — including felons who served time for crimes such as sexually abusing children and homicide, will be released into your community and into mine,” Guadian said. “I can think of no other state that protects convicted felons …. ICE will now have to make these arrests in the community when they should have been made in the secure confines of a jail.”
How dangerous can this policy be? A criminal illegal alien sexual predator does not have to register as a sex offender in Illinois and, once released, doesn’t register anywhere else.
“Individuals with no legal status in this country do not register on the Illinois Sex Offender Registry. And if they flee Illinois, they don’t register themselves anywhere else, either.”
Yes, but at least illegal alien’s feelings aren’t hurt.