Sheriffs Warn Congress: Immigration Deal Could Mean Thousands of Criminals on Streets
Thousands of American sheriffs signed a letter to Congress last week warning that a potential immigration deal limiting the number of beds available in ICE detention centers would force officials to release criminal illegal aliens into communities.
Over 3,000 members of the National Sheriffs’ Association and Major County Sheriffs of America signed the letter which warned that the Democrat-proposed cap of 16,500 detainees would “jeopardize” the immigration system and put communities at risk.
Negotiations on the proposed cap began in December when lawmakers attempted to avert the partial government shutdown over funding for the border wall.
“Any legislation that reduces ICE’s detention capacity would hinder its ability to perform its national security and public safety missions, but also impact local law enfocements [sic] ability to protect the communities they serve. In order to meet the cap being tentatively proposed by Congress, ICE would be compelled to release thousands of aliens from custody,” the sheriffs state in the letter
To achieve the proposed cap of 16,500 adult detainees, ICE would be required to release 9,264 adults. This is concerning, the law enforcement organizations said, because 72 percent of ICE’s current detainee population is “subject to mandatory detention due to the alien having certain convictions or having committed certain acts.”
Also, more than 90 percent of ICE arrests constitute illegal immigrants with existing criminal convictions — not illegal immigrants whose only offense is living in the U.S. illegally.
President Trump reacted to the latest Democratic stipulation on ICE detention centers, tweeting, “I don’t think the Dems on the Border Committee are being allowed by their leaders to make a deal. They are offering very little money for the desperately needed Border Wall & now, out of the blue, want a cap on convicted violent felons to be held in detention!”
I don’t think the Dems on the Border Committee are being allowed by their leaders to make a deal. They are offering very little money for the desperately needed Border Wall & now, out of the blue, want a cap on convicted violent felons to be held in detention!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2019
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reacted on Sunday to the proposal, promising Fox News the president would never sign a bill that would limit ICE’s ability to detain violent criminals.
“I promise you this. Donald Trump is not going to sign any bill that reduces the number of bed spaces available to hold violent offenders who come across our border. He can’t do that. He won’t do that,” he said to Maria Bartiromo.
The senator said the proposal “incentivizes more violent people to come to the United States” and “at the end of the day, they’re making it impossible for the president to work with them if they’re reducing bed spaces for violent offenders.”
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