‘Continued decisions to refuse cooperation with ICE serve as an open invitation to aliens who commit criminal offenses that these counties are a safe haven…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, in Asheville, North Carolina, released an illegal alien who was convicted of a child sex offense, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Wednesday re-arrested the offender.
ICE agents sent a detainer to the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office in which they requested the in-custody transfer of Salvadoran national Marvin Ramirez Torres, ICE reported.
But the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office ignored the ICE detainer and released Torres, despite his conviction of indecent liberties with a child and his status as an illegal alien.
“This is yet another example of a clear public safety threat being released into North Carolina communities rather than into ICE custody due to local sheriff policies on ICE non-cooperation,” said Acting ICE Director Matt Albence.
Sheriff Quentin Miller was one of several in the state who has controversially declared his refusal to cooperate with ICE, disregarding the North Carolina legislature and sheriffs’ association.
Following a recent high-profile case in which Garry McFadden, the sheriff of Charlotte/Mecklenburg County, released a repeat sex-offender from Honduras who had engaged in an hours-long hostage standoff, state GOP leaders passed legislation that would hold the maverick law-officers more accountable for ignoring their duties to protect the public. However, the legislation was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
In a February announcement that he planned to follow suit, Miller echoed many of McFadden’s talking points, blaming the judiciary system, ICE officials and others for the problem.
“Sheriff McFadden has been falsely attacked for releasing inmates that are deemed dangerous to the community,” Miller said.
“This is not true, but the public must understand that it is our judicial system that makes decisions on bond amounts and who provides the verdict of who is guilty and who is innocent,” he continued. “The judicial system decides to release someone, we simply follow those directives.”
The sheriffs have also claimed that cooperation with ICE by alerting them to the presence of illegal immigrants harms their efforts to build inroads within the community.
But Albance said the opposite was true, and that the communities the violent criminals returned to were the greatest victims of the sheriffs’ negligence.
“Continued decisions to refuse cooperation with ICE serve as an open invitation to aliens who commit criminal offenses that these counties are a safe haven for persons seeking to evade federal authorities, and residents of Buncombe County are less safe due to these misguided sanctuary policies,” Albance said.
Police in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana arrested Torres in May 2017 on an “outstanding warrant for felony indecent liberties with a child,” ICE reported. Torres was then transferred to Buncombe County.
ICE sent an immigration detainer and an administrative arrest warrant to the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office in May 2017.
The North Carolina Superior Court for Buncombe County convicted Torres on Oct. 29 for felony indecent liberties with a child. The court ordered him to register as a sex offender.
He was sentenced to time served, and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office released him.
“It is my sincere desire to work with local partners to whatever extent they are willing to work with this agency in what should be our shared goal to ensure community safety,” said ICE Atlanta Interim Field Office Director John Tsoukaris.
“Elected law enforcement officials who chose to ignore the ICE detainer, and the ICE warrant of arrest that accompanied the detainer, are placing politics above public safety and failing their most basic duty to protect their communities.
Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.