Tarrant County Sheriff Says Releasing Jailed Undocumented Immigrants Would Lead to More Crime

Sheriff Waybourn’s remarks came during a White House press briefing about border security

A North Texas sheriff, as well as the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Thursday morning criticized a judge’s ruling barring his agency from relying solely on databases that have at times led to the wrongful detention of American citizens.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. bars ICE from issuing requests known as “detainers” based solely on database searches considered to be unreliable. It applies to states that do not explicitly authorize civil immigration arrests using detainers.

Jennie Pasquarella, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, which helped bring the lawsuit, said the ruling was “critical to protecting the rights of everyone” and ensuring that ICE does not subject people to baseless arrests and detention.

Speaking Thursday at the White House, acting ICE Director Matthew Albence called the September ruling an example of “judicial overreach” that threatened public safety.

Albence spoke next to local sheriffs from around the U.S., including North Texas, who are cooperating with ICE. As the agency has faced resistance to its operations in some parts of the country, the Trump administration has held several White House events featuring local officials who support its immigration priorities.

Officials and supporters have also highlighted cases of crimes committed by immigrants in the U.S. without permission and used charged rhetoric to criticize illegal immigration.

Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn of Fort Worth said releasing jailed immigrants instead of turning them over to ICE would lead to more crime.

“If we have to turn them loose or they get released, they’re coming back to your neighborhood and my neighborhood,” he said. “These drunks will run over your children, and they will run over my children.”

By Kevin Freking and Nomaan Merchant for NBCDFW.COM
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