In a move to put public pressure on "sanctuary cities," the Department of Homeland Security on Monday published a list of 118 localities that have refused to cooperate with federal requests to detain undocumented immigrants.
President Trump ordered the department to publish a weekly list of all detention requests turned down by local jails, listing the agency, the undocumented immigrants and the charges they face. In an executive order he signed Jan. 25, Trump said the list is necessary to "better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions."
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to start producing the list last month, and on Monday, the agency issued its first public report.
It lists 206 cases in which undocumented immigrants were arrested on local charges and were set to be released from jails. ICE officials requested that the local authorities hold onto those people for up to 48 hours — a request known as a "detainer" — but the requests were denied.
The 206 denials took place the week of Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, although the arrests occurred as early as 2014.
The charges range from homicide and rape to driving violations and probation violations. The majority of the cases, 56%, were people charged with crimes but have not been convicted. Under President Barack Obama, undocumented immigrants convicted of serious crimes were considered priorities for deportation. Trump changed those priorities to include undocumented immigrants accused of any crime.
Clark County, Nev., turned down the highest number of detainers during the week of the report — 51. Nassau County, N.Y., was second with 38 and Cook County, Ill., was third with 13.
ICE detainers have been a controversial issue for years, as several federal courts have ruled that local authorities are under no legal obligation to honor them. But Trump said "sanctuary jurisdictions" that don't fully comply with federal immigration requests will be punished with the loss of federal grants. Hundreds of local police agencies depend on hundreds of millions of dollars in grants from Homeland Security and the Department of Justice.