Saturday, May 7, 2011

Just Following ICE's Example

Outlaw Sheriff Michael Hennessey has decided that he will ignore detention orders from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for aliens arrested locally on what he calls minor charges.

San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey will start releasing illegal immigrants arrested for low-level crimes from jail even if federal officials notified through a controversial fingerprint identification program request that they be held for a deportation hearing.

The new policy, set to begin June 1, means illegal immigrants arrested for petty crimes such as disorderly conduct, drunk in public or shoplifting will not be held in jail until U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials come to collect them.

San Francisco would become the first county in California to implement such a policy, he said.

Local jails are not required to hold inmates if ICE has identified them as illegal immigrants, and sheriff’s deputies would not be violating any law, Hennessey said.

The change is meant to uphold San Francisco’s sanctuary ordinance, which prohibits local officials from assisting ICE unless it involves a felony.

“I’m just doing our best to enforce local law. That’s my job,” said Hennessey, who has announced he will retire at the end of the year.

Federal officials have been able to circumvent sanctuary city policies throughout the country through a program called Secure Communities. That program allows ICE to monitor fingerprint data collected during the booking process and put holds, known as “detainers,” on people they believe to be illegal immigrants.

From June 2010 until February, 111 people identified through Secure Communities in San Francisco were deported without ever being convicted in criminal court, according to the most recent ICE data. Federal officials deported 85 people who committed the lowest two levels of crimes, while 45 people who had committed felonies such as rape and assault had been deported.

As it stands now, sheriff’s deputies hold low-level criminals until ICE picks them up. Once the new policy takes effect, however, sheriff’s deputies will release them from jail with a citation just as they would a U.S. citizen, even with an ICE detainer.

In a prepared statement, ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said Hennessey’s decision was unfortunate.

“ICE detainers are an effective tool to ensure that individuals arrested on criminal charges, who are also in violation of U.S. immigration law, are not released back into the community to potentially commit more crimes,” Kice said.

The move is generating sharp criticism from groups opposed to sanctuary cities.

“It’s an astonishing abuse of his office,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a Washington, D.C.-based legal advocacy group that is currently suing The City over a similar immigration issue.

“I guarantee you that someone who is released by him as a result of his lawlessness will go on to commit a more serious crime,” Fitton said.

Secure Communities has come under increasing fire across the state and country as non-criminals continue to be swept up through the program. Hennessey has attempted to opt out of the program since its inception, but ICE has said only states can opt out of the program.

This week, Illinois announced it will terminate its Secure Communities agreement, and last week a bill authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano that would require the attorney general to allow California counties to opt out of the program passed out of a committee.

In collusion with Hennessey, ICE is making nothing of this, nor of Illinois' withdrawal from Secure Communities.

In a prepared statement, ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said Hennessey’s decision was unfortunate.

“ICE detainers are an effective tool to ensure that individuals arrested on criminal charges, who are also in violation of U.S. immigration law, are not released back into the community to potentially commit more crimes,” Kice said.


And the article incorrectly mis-states that such action by local law enforcement is legal. In fact, it is quite illegal:

Title 8 United States Code Section 1324, Bringing in and harboring certain aliens

(a) Criminal penalties
(1)
(A) Any person who—
(i) knowing that a person is an alien, brings to or attempts to bring to the United States in any manner whatsoever such person at a place other than a designated port of entry or place other than as designated by the Commissioner, regardless of whether such alien has received prior official authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States and regardless of any future official action which may be taken with respect to such alien;
(ii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, transports, or moves or attempts to transport or move such alien within the United States by means of transportation or otherwise, in furtherance of such violation of law;
(iii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation;
(iv) encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law; or
(v)
(I) engages in any conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts, or
(II) aids or abets the commission of any of the preceding acts,

But Sheriff Hennessey's flagrant contempt for federal law and operating an unlawful immigration policy is not the important aspect of this issue. The real issue is that ICE and the Obama Regime are doing nothing about it and even supporting Hennessey's amnesty program for illegal aliens. Even worse, the Obama Regime is doing the same thing as Hennessey. They are arresting and releasing illegal aliens themselves as well as ordering other law enforcement agencies to release illegal aliens just as Hennessey is doing. In fact, Hennessey was just taking his cues from the Obama Regime and assisting with the ongoing administrative amnesty.

Remember just a few short days ago Hennessey's action and it relationship to the Obama Regime Administrative Amnesty was exposed.


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