‘Not A Sanctuary City’

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it will remove Nassau’s designation as a sanctuary city.

Last week, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released their first regular weekly report on jurisdictions that are not cooperating with that agency on detainer issues. However, that list made a mistake concerning Nassau County. Originally, the county was listed as being a “non-cooperative” jurisdiction. Also according to the report, the agency issued 38 detainers to the county for the dates listed above.

The county spokesman disputed the designation.

“Nassau County is not a sanctuary city,” the spokesman told Anton Media Group. “The county was erroneously listed on the Federal government’s website. On March 20, 2017, The New York Times reported, ‘Nassau County…was erroneously included in the government’s report as a non-cooperative jurisdiction.’ ICE has assured us that Nassau County will be removed from the next report.”

The spokesman added that the county’s policy concerning ICE detainers are as follows:

• The Nassau County Police Department runs every arrest through a NCIC check to determine if an ICE detainer, administrative hold and/or judicial detainer applies to the alleged criminal. If yes, ICE is notified of the arrest so that processing can begin. If no, ICE will be notified of the arrest when the individual is processed at the Nassau County Correctional Center.

• To facilitate ICE’s work in Nassau County, the sheriff’s office in East Meadow has allowed the agency to have a permanent presence in the county jail—giving agents immediate access to interview inmates.

For the week listed above, ICE reported that there were 3,083 declined detainers nationwide. Such a number may not necessarily be the most recent ones. According to published reports, some of the detainers were issued before the administration of Donald Trump came into office, with some going as far back as 2014. Officials added that the data only covers when a detainer was confirmed to be declined.

At the same time, the outcome of the detainers in question, ICE officials said, “is yet to be determined,” which means that certain checks may still may ongoing. The report also listed counties that released recorded declined detainers. That number, for the week of Jan. 28 to Feb. 3. totaled 206 released detainers. Nassau County was not on that list, one that received national attention. Travis County, TX, home to Austin, topped the list with 143 released detainers. Travis County is a good 1,774 miles from Nassau County.

The report maintained that the recently-released list is only the first in what will be, as noted, weekly reports.

“ICE field officers have been instructed to resume issuing detainers on all removable aliens in a law enforcement agencies (LEA) custody regardless of prior non-cooperation,” the report stated. “As a result, the number of issued detainers will increase over the next several reporting periods.”

“These numbers will continue to go up,” a DHS officials confirmed. “There is a clear public safety issue here that will only be further illuminated as we go forward.”

ICE is a division of The Department of Homeland Security (DHS). When issuing the report, Thomas Homan, acting director, described its purpose.

“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,” said Homan. “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.”

And Nassau County officials want to make it clear that they intend to cooperate.

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Joe Scotchie
Joe Scotchie is the editor of both The Roslyn News and New Hyde Park Illustrated News. In 2009, he won a New York State Press Association award for a sports feature. Joseph Scotchie’s past publications include biographies of Thomas Wolfe and Richard Weaver and a comprehensive history of the city of Asheville, North Carolina.

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