Multnomah County, OR - Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese has decided that keeping the trust of illegal immigrants who commit serious crimes is more than important than the rights of victims or keeping his county safe.
He also refuses to help federal immigrant officials because of state law. He is the Sheriff of Oregon's most populous sanctuary county.
According to Breitbart, Sheriff Reese said that Oregon state law "is a very clear guideline for local law enforcement and sheriff’s statewide.” He also said that “we can’t expend county resources or personnel towards immigration enforcement.”
An Oregon state legislator is reported to be furious" about the Sheriff's actions, and that the legislator said he is not "abiding by the law by not detaining some of these illegal immigrants who are held on very, fairly serious charges or who have committed fairly serious crimes, are a risk to the community."
In an interview, the Sheriff did everything but answer the question as to how he would respond to the legislator.
He said that people are held in county jails who are "accused of crimes" in Multnomah county communities. He also said that he holds criminals until a judge says otherwise.
Sheriff Reese said that the country is better off when he and his deputies do not act as immigration agents. He said that “It simply worries me that we’ve spent so much time and energy building community trust and something outside of our control may damage that.”
.A report issued on Thursday by ICE officials showed that Sheriff Reese's jail released an illegal immigrant who is a Mexican national on February 15. ICE officials issued an immigration detainer on March 21, 2016. The report states that this illegal immigrant has a previous conviction for sexual assault.
The same report, Declined Detainer Outcome Report for the week of January 28-February 3, showed that the Sheriff's jail had released two illegal immigrants during that time period, one who is a Mexican national with a conviction of assault and one who is a Tongan national with a conviction of amphetamine possession.
Crime victims may feel differently than Sheriff Reese.
Oregon State law prohibits sheriffs from using public dollars, resources or personnel to locate or arrest a person whose only violation of law is that they are in the country in violation of federal immigration law. If the person is already in jail for another violation, nothing prevents the sheriff from working with ICE.
When the status of a criminal illegal immigrant and his trust is placed above the safety of our citizens, that's a problem.
The sheriff's office is not being asked to go into the community to conduct immigration enforcement, only to work with ICE to appropriately handle the criminals who are already in jail, as allowed by law.
It's time for law enforcement administrators to stand up and speak out against protecting criminal illegal immigrants. Releasing these criminals back into our society should not be an option when they have somewhere else they should legally be at.
Unfortunately, with current politics, many law enforcement administrators cannot distinguish between criminals and otherwise honest illegal immigrants.
Do you think that sheriffs should be compelled to turn over criminal illegal immigrants? We'd like to hear what you think. Please let us know in the comments.