Rhode Island ignores ICE’s detainer, releases illegal alien charged with child molestation and domestic assault

News & Politics

A Rhode Island court ordered the release of an illegal alien who was charged with child molestation and domestic assault, ignoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s detainer request, according to a recent press release by Enforcement and Removal Operations Boston Field Office.

A 22-year-old Guatemalan was apprehended by Border Patrol in November 2018 after he attempted to illegally enter the country in Nogales, Arizona. The unnamed man was served with a notice to appear and released into the interior of the country.

Providence Police Department issued an arrest warrant for the individual on November 21, 2022, on child molestation and sexual assault charges, the ICE’s ERO Boston Field Office reported. He was later apprehended on February 28, 2024, for the outstanding warrant as well as domestic assault charges.

After he was booked into custody, ERO lodged an immigration detainer request against him. According to ERO, the detainer was ignored, and the Sixth District Court of Rhode Island ordered the man’s release.

On April 10, 2024, the same day as his release, ERO located the individual and placed him under federal custody “without incident.” He will remain in custody pending a future immigration hearing.

“As part of its mission to identify and arrest removable noncitizens, ERO lodges immigration detainers against noncitizens who have been arrested for criminal activity and taken into custody by state or local law enforcement,” ERO stated. “An immigration detainer is a request from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to state or local law enforcement agencies to notify ICE as early as possible before a removable noncitizen is released from their custody.”

ICE has a maximum of 48 hours beyond the time the suspects would have been released from state or local law enforcement custody to pick up the individuals and transfer them to federal custody.

“Detainers increase the safety of all parties involved — ERO personnel, law enforcement officials, removable noncitizens and the public — by allowing an arrest to be made in a secure and controlled custodial setting as opposed to at-large within the community,” ERO’s press release continued. “Because detainers result in the direct transfer of a noncitizen from state or local custody to ERO custody, they also minimize the potential that an individual will reoffend. Additionally, detainers conserve scarce government resources by allowing ERO to take criminal noncitizens into custody directly rather than expending resources locating these individuals at-large.”

ERO Boston Field Office Director Todd M. Lyons urged state and local law enforcement agencies to honor immigration detainers.

“This unlawfully present individual was arrested locally on first degree child molestation charges and was released back into the community despite an immigration detainer,” Lyons explained. “ERO Boston hopes to cooperate with our local partners in Rhode Island to help make safer neighborhoods for everyone in the state and throughout New England.”

The city did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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