SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) – Immigration officials say local authorities released thousands of immigrants from jails this year despite efforts to take them into federal custody, including more than 3,000 people with previous felony charges or convictions.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice says roughly 8,800 of the agency’s requests for local authorities to detain arrested immigrants for up to 48 additional hours until they are placed in federal custody were denied during the first eight months of the year.
Kice says the agency made 105,000 such requests during that period.
The numbers are the first time federal immigration authorities have publicly detailed how often local law enforcement refused to comply with the requests. They highlight the friction between the federal government and some police and sheriff’s departments over immigration enforcement.
Those released included people arrested for investigation of a range of offenses including domestic violence and drug charges.