Dozens of Illegal Immigrants Rearrested in Orange County


SANTA ANA -- Dozens of illegal immigrants with federal detainers have been rearrested following their release from Orange County jail, officials said Thursday. 

The Sheriff's Department says 414 offenders were released between Jan. 1 and May 31 without notification to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

The so-called "Sanctuary State" law, which took effect at the beginning of the year, prevents local law enforcement from communicating with ICE about the release dates of illegal immigrants. 

But 45 individuals in that group have been arrested for new crimes in Orange County, including attempted murder, child abduction and assault with a deadly weapon.

"That number is not all-inclusive," says Undersheriff Don Barnes. "There may have been those who have been rearrested outside of our County."

Neither do the figures reflect illegal immigrants released from other counties and rearrested in Orange County. 

"[This is] what we were trying to prevent from happening all along," Barnes says. 

Earlier this spring the Orange County Sheriff's Department changed its policy to announce the release dates of all inmates, regardless of citizenship. 

The move was an attempt to both comply with the Sanctuary State law while also allowing ICE the opportunity to track individuals with a federal detainer. 

Officials have not said whether that change has led to ICE making more arrests at the County jail.

Evan Westrup, a spokesman for Gov. Jerry Brown, questioned why ICE allowed so many people to slip through the cracks with the Sheriff's department's notification policy. 

State Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon's office released a statement regarding the arrests of illegal immigrants for new crimes in Orange County.  

“The Orange County Sheriff would tear apart hundreds of families on the chance that a few of them may commit a crime in the future.  The fact remains, immigrants are much less likely to commit crimes, use fewer government resources than native-born citizens, start the majority of new small businesses in California, and are critical to making our economy the 5th largest in the world.  Having local law enforcement act as an arm of ICE will make our communities less safe, not more, and these statistics don’t change that.”


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