The Immigration Customs Enforcement, part of the Department of Homeland Security, has published its first weekly report listing crimes allegedly committed by undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
The report covers the period from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, according to the Independent.
It listed 206 cases where law enforcement agencies had refused to follow a detainer request, which is issued by ICE when someone undocumented is in custody. Detainers request that law enforcement authorities keep immigrants detained for a further 48 hours so ICE officers can carry out deportations.
"When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE's ability to protect the public safety and carry out its mission," Thomas Homan, Acting ICE Director, said, according to the Independent.
The list of crimes covered everything from rape to domestic violence and traffic offenses. It also includes people who have been charged, but not yet convicted of a crime.
"Our goal is to build cooperative, respectful relationships with our law enforcement partners. We will continue collaborating with them to help ensure that illegal aliens who may pose a threat to our communities are not released onto the streets to potentially harm individuals living within our communities," Homan added.
The three top states for releasing people from their custody, even if a detainer was outstanding, were Illinois, Nevada and New York.
Clark County, Nevada, topped the list with 51 declined detainers during the week, while Nassau County, New York, turned down 38.
The weekly reports were requested by President Donald Trump in a Jan. 25 executive order. The order called on the ICE to "make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens."
USA Today reported that the publication of the reports is aimed at stepping up pressure on so-called "sanctuary cities."
Critics have said that publishing such lists will demonize the law-abiding immigrant population. Recent studies revealed that crime rates among immigrant populations were lower than among US citizens.
"Trump's presidency is based on a number of lies, but one of the most important is to paint all immigrants as killers and rapists," Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, member of the House Judiciary Committee, told the Hill.
Police officers have also cited legal reasons for refusing to comply with detainers. Sheriff Joe Pelle, whose Boulder County, Colorado, jurisdiction was named in the report for ignoring several detainers, defended his decision.
"They can shame all they want, but there's a lot of case law out there from three different federal courts, and it all says the same thing," Pelle told USA Today. "We are not honoring detainers. We would absolutely honor a federal arrest warrant, signed by a federal judge or magistrate."
Sources: Independent, USA Today, The Hill / Photo credit: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via Wikimedia Commons