A number of illegal immigrants who were released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention in October after a court order due to COVID safety have since been re-arrested for crimes including child sex and drug offenses, according to the agency.
ICE released 250 detainees from its facility in Adelanto, Calif., after a federal judge ordered the population be reduced in order to halt the spread of coronavirus infections in response to a lawsuit.
ICE complied with the order but objected strenuously to it on public safety grounds, going so far as to release a list of criminal charges and convictions of those it said it was forced to release onto the streets. The agency said that more than 85% of the roughly 730 migrants at Adelanto had pending criminal charges or convictions. The release left the processing center with a population of 465, slightly below the 475 previously requested by the judge.
However, the agency announced this week that a number had been arrested again in the weeks since they were sprung from custody — including a 50-year-old Indian national arrested for an outstanding warrant of felony lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14.
Others arrested include a Mexican national arrested for battery, driving under the influence and for violating a restraining order. Another Mexican citizen was arrested for unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, burglary and grand theft, while another was arrested for disorderly conduct under the influence of drugs and contempt of court.
“The fact that some of the released detainees have committed additional crimes demonstrates the dangers of these court-ordered releases and how they can harm the public in the process,” Acting ICE Director Tony Pham said in a statement. “We were firm in our warning that these releases would impact public safety, and unfortunately, it did not take long for some of these criminal aliens to reoffend.”
“This proves that many of these aliens are recidivist offenders who should not have been released in the first place,” he said.
The announcement represents the latest move by ICE to warn of the dangers of releasing illegal immigrants from custody, particularly those wirth criminal histories.
Under the Trump administration, the agency has launched a number of operations targeting criminal aliens, and has pushed back against “sanctuary” policies — by which local law enforcement are barred or limited from cooperating with federal immigration enforcement.
President-elect Joe Biden has promised to take a different approach to immigration enforcement, including implementing a 100-day moratorium on ICE deportations once he enters the White House.
Adam Shaw is a reporter covering U.S. and European politics for Fox News. He can be reached here.