Cook County Refused More Than 1,000 ICE Detainers, Freeing Criminal Aliens

‘All over the world they’re talking about Chicago. Afghanistan is a safe place by comparison…’

Cook County Refused More Than 1,000 ICE Detainers, Letting Criminal Aliens Free

IMAGE: A&E via Youtube

(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Local law enforcement agencies in Cook County, Ill., which encompasses Chicago, freed 1,070 illegal aliens in 2019, including many charged with violent crimes, in defiance of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers.

These agencies refused to inform ICE even when they released criminal illegal aliens, the agency reported.

“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.

“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,” Lucero continued. “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.”


Many times, law-enforcement agencies in Cook County would have to re-arrest illegal aliens after releasing them.

Two such examples are 50-year-old Rasheed Abass, a South African national, and 28-year-old Kennete Acevedo Ortiz, a Nicaraguan national.

Cook County-area authorities arrested Abass twice: once in June for indecent exposure and once in July for assault.

ICE lodged a detainer with law enforcement and requested notification upon Abass’s release, but local law enforcement refused to cooperate. Abass remains at large.

Cook County-area authorities arrested Ortiz three times in 2018 and 2019 for driving under the influence, domestic violence and failing to appear in  court.

ICE asked local law enforcement, through a detainer, to transfer Ortiz to federal custody or notify immigration authorities upon his release. Cook County law-enforcement agencies refused both requests three times.

Ortiz has since been re-arrested, and he remains in custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Likewise, Chicago’s law-enforcement efforts have come under national scrutiny in several recent episodes.

The police superintendent was fired in December over a series of “ethical lapses,” and President Donald Trump took note of the city’s escalating crime problems during an October visit.

“It’s embarrassing to us as a nation,” Trump said of the ‘sanctuary’ city. “All over the world they’re talking about Chicago. Afghanistan is a safe place by comparison.”

The dysfunction—driven largely by the Windy City’s corrupt political machine—has left flustered many of its honest and dedicated officers, who have clashed with top officials over matters like the dropping of charges for hate-crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett.