Illinois Released Over 1,000 Illegal Aliens Under Sanctuary Laws


If protecting illegal immigrants is its ultimate objective, the state of Illinois knocked it out of the park in 2019. According to federal data, Cook County, which includes Chicago, among other cities, released over 1,000 criminal illegal immigrants last year under sanctuary laws.


Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) revealed that Cook County freed about 1,070 illegal aliens who committed additional crimes after entering the country. The county adopted sanctuary laws in 2011 and has refused to cooperate with ICE, whose job is to deport illegals, to remove those who have committed additional crimes, many of which are violent. 

Henry Lucero, an ICE official, released a statement explaining the danger of sanctuary policies. “The most concerning issue about working in an area that refuses to cooperate with ICE is not only that we do not know which criminal aliens are being released from custody, but the public doesn’t know either,” he said.

There are several examples of dangerous criminals who have been protected by Cook County authorities. Rasheed Abass, a South African migrant living in the country illegally, was arrested twice in 2019, once for indecent exposure, and once for assault. Now, he has been released into the community and the authorities are not aware of his location.

Another individual was arrested three times for drunk driving, domestic violence and failure to appear in court. ICE requested that the suspect be turned over to its authority after each arrest. He remains in custody, but it is unlikely that Illinois state authorities will turn him over. 


Each year, sanctuary counties release tens of thousands of illegal immigrant criminals into the general public instead of turning them over to ICE. In Los Angeles County, nearly 100 of these individuals are released into the community. According to federal data, about 80% of these are likely to commit additional crimes, again, many of which are violent. 

Last year, Timothy Robbins, the Acting Director of ICE testified in front of Congress and discussed the dangers of releasing illegal alien criminals into the public instead of turning them over to ICE:

“What we’ve seen, and depending on the report you look at, anywhere from 40% to 80% of those who have committed crimes will re-offend. In that regard, what we’re seeing is crimes that could be preventable, the human cost who are being victimized and hurt by criminal aliens that ICE had the ability to remove from this country.”

In 2019 Republican senators introduced legislation that would allow the families of victims harmed by illegal aliens who have been released under sanctuary laws to file lawsuits against the cities who have jurisdiction over the case. If made into law, it would give angel families a way to hold their local officials accountable for endangering the public. 


Regardless of one’s opinion on illegal immigration, it is easy to see that sanctuary laws are designed to favor illegal immigrants over people residing in the country legally. Those supporting these laws are essentially telling the public that their safety is not as important as the freedom of those who broke the law to gain entry into the United States. In essence, the Democrats who support such policies are willing to sacrifice their constituents to gain an electoral advantage — and they are not likely to reconsider their stance unless they stand to lose from backing such flawed policies. 


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