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(CNSNews.com) — Law enforcement in Cook County, Ill., which includes Chicago, a “sanctuary city” for illegal aliens, “released 1,070 criminal aliens and immigration violators in Fiscal Year 2019” despite requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to “notify the agency prior to their release,” said ICE in a press release

A detainer is used when ICE believes a person arrested on criminal charges is subject to removal from the United States because they are a foreign national, often aliens illegally in the country. The detainer asks local law enforcement to “notify ICE in advance of release and to maintain custody of the alien for a brief period of time so that ICE can take custody of that person,” said the agency.

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Sanctuary City Chicago and Cook County ignore 1,071 of those detainers in FY2019. 

“The most concerning issue about working in an area that refuses to cooperate with ICE is not only that we do not know which criminal aliens are being released from custody, but the public doesn’t know either,” said Henry Lucero, ICE’s acting deputy executive associate director for Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

“Because ICE does not have access to standard Illinois law enforcement databases, it’s difficult to accurately account for all the aliens who have been arrested, released, and committed additional crimes,” said Lucero. “However, with the limited information ICE can verify, we know that police resources are being wasted, more people are being victimized, and it’s a matter of time until something more significant happens.”

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As for some of the criminal illegal aliens who were released in Cook County because the ICE detainers were declined, the agency reported the following: 


“When law enforcement agencies don’t honor ICE detainers, these individuals, who often have significant criminal histories, are released onto the street, presenting a potential public safety threat,” said ICE. 

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“Any local jurisdiction thinking that refusing to cooperate with ICE will result in a decrease in local immigration enforcement is mistaken,” reported the agency.  “Local jurisdictions that choose to not cooperate with ICE are likely to see an increase in ICE enforcement activity, as the agency has no choice but to conduct more at-large arrest operations.”

Last week, illegal alien Christopher Puente was arrested for sexually assaulting a three-year-old girl in a McDonald’s bathroom in Chicago. ICE had lodged a detainer on Puente in June 2019 but the Chicago Police Department ignored it and Puente was free to roam the streets and allegedly commit crimes. 

This content was originally published here.