Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has once again put liberal political aims ahead of his oath of office, this time issuing an opinion that will ensure that dangerous criminal illegal aliens are released back into our communities even when the feckless Obama administration considers them so dangerous to public safety that it actually intends to deport them. Just consider how utterly extremist this open borders activism is for a moment: even the Obama administration, which has bent over backwards to protect the interests of dangerous criminals who have no right to be in this country at the expense of the American public wants these criminals deported, but Mark Herring is determined to make sure they’re quickly and expeditiously set free to commit further acts of brutality and mayhem.
The opinion responds to a request from Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle, who formerly was a Republican member of the Senate of Virginia with a truly awful voting record. When bills concerning illegal immigrants came up in the Senate, Stolle always voted on the side of the lawbreakers. He apparently believed at some point that if he asked Mark Herring about the detainers that Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Herring would tell him that not only can he ignore them, but that he should. That’s exactly what Herring said in his opinion, and until there’s legislative action in Richmond that’s the official policy of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Way back in 1986, Congress charged the executive branch with the responsibility of deporting criminal illegal aliens (8 U.S.C. 1226 (C)(1)) and gave the executive branch the authority to issue regulations to develop procedures and policies to carry out that responsibility. Deporting criminal illegal aliens isn’t some sort of discretionary, maybe-if-you’d-like-to, advisory idea, but a firm requirement that is of course subject to the usual caveats about the availability of resources to fulfill this requirement and so forth. The regulations developed ended up in the Code of Federal Regulations under 8 C.F.R. 287.7 as the ICE detainer program. The way the program works is that when Immigration and Customs Enforcement learns that a foreign national is being held pursuant to a criminal conviction or other judicial order for a violation of state or local law, ICE can issue a detainer that requests the jail to keep the individual in question in custody for up to 48 hours to allow them to take custody. In most cases, the deportation process has already been initiated while the illegal alien is serving his sentence, with the intent that he immediately appears before an immigration judge upon release from state or local custody, adjudicated for removal and immediately deported.
Herring’s opinion asserts that state and local law enforcement are not required to honor the detainer. That much is true. The detainer itself is not something that demands compliance by state or local law enforcement, as Congress doesn’t have the authority to demand anything of state and local law enforcement other than that they turn over individuals to federal custody when federal law enforcement wants to prosecute. It’s a request from one law enforcement agency to another, and such a request can be denied, even though doing so could put into jeopardy the level of assistance that the federal government provides to states and localities under the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) that offsets the costs of incarcerating deportable aliens. What is extremely troubling is that Herring ridiculously asserts that despite clear language of the law, that federal officials have no legal authority to issue detainers at all, and that state and local law enforcement cannot legally comply with them.
This isn’t some reasonable debate of the nuances of code and regulation, this is an assault on the plain language of the law. An argument like this would be utterly laughable were it not for the tremendous jeopardy into which this places peaceful citizens.
Illegal aliens commit a highly disproportionate number of sexual assaults on minors, for instance. Previous Democrat administrations cared little about this, even to the point of trying to pretend this wasn’t the case, and would hamstring law enforcement to the point that ICE was not being made aware of what criminal aliens were serving sentences so they had no idea to deport them. Virginia ended up with nearly two hundred illegal aliens being enrolled on the state’s sex offender registry who had been convicted, served a jail sentence, and then released back into the community despite them being so dangerous to public safety that average citizens are notified of their presence. Once then-Attorney General Bob McDonnell found out about this in 2008, he got right to making sure that every one of these scumbags was deported as quickly as possible.
Since then Democrats have been busily dismantling every opportunity that law enforcement has to identify and deport illegal aliens. The Obama administration first dismantled the Section 287(g) program, a partnership between federal and local law enforcement to identify illegal aliens being incarcerated in our jails and process them for deportation so they’d be immediately deported upon release. They terminated the program (despite there being no legislative authority to do so) and “replaced” it with the “Secure Communities” program that would only notice previously identified illegal aliens if they entered a jail, and allow federal authorities to issue a detainer so they might get picked up upon release. Now the Obama administration is terminating the “Secure Communities” program as well while they tell the Border Patrol to stop arresting illegal aliens. At this point Herring is essentially terminating the ICE detainer system as well, ripping out the very last vestige of any effort whatsoever to remove convicted criminal illegal aliens from our communities.
It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what the real-world impact of this ridiculously bad legal malpractice and disastrous policy will be. Law enforcement is being deliberately blinded as to which criminals they are compelled to keep away from the general public are illegal aliens eligible for deportation, and prevented from handing those they do discover to be illegal aliens to federal authorities for deportation. As open borders leftists celebrate that their statistics will show that criminal illegal aliens have suddenly vanished as a concern of public safety (because they won’t be collecting those statistics anymore), innocent people will increasingly suffer violence that would otherwise never have the chance to visit them.
This isn’t some hypothetical concern. Even now, illegal alien serial murderers are set free right here in our community among the tens of thousands of criminal illegal alien rapists and murderers that leftists like Mark Herring clearly want to integrate into the fabric of American society. Those human predators will go on to commit further acts of barbarity against innocent people and the deaths and broken lives that will inevitably result are entirely avoidable. Mark Herring and his open borders buddies want this to happen.
Mark Herring wants your child to be raped. There’s no other conclusion one can logically draw here.
Let’s hope the General Assembly can fix this, because otherwise the tragedies are going to start piling up pretty quickly.
UPDATE: The Center for Immigration Studies weighed in on the impact of this decision, pointing out the terrific danger Herring is putting citizens in:
How will Herring justify himself to the future victims of aliens who were released from police custody rather than turned over to federal immigration agents? Make no doubt, it will happen. A Congressional Research Service study commissioned by the House Judiciary Committee found that 26,412 aliens out of 159,286 released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in a 2.5-year time period went on to commit 57,763 new crimes. These crimes included 8,500 DUIs; 6,000 drug offenses; and more than 4,000 major criminal offenses such as murder, assault, rape, and kidnapping.
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