In what appears to be a growing national trend, another elected law enforcement official released an illegal immigrant with a serious criminal conviction—in this case child sex offenses—rather than turn him over to federal authorities for removal. Sanctuary policies ban local law enforcement from honoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers placed on illegal aliens who have been arrested on local criminal charges. If the detainer is honored ICE takes custody and deports the criminal rather than release him or her back into the community. When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and free serious criminal offenders, it undermines the federal government’s duty to protect public safety.
This latest case comes out of Buncombe County, North Carolina where the recently elected sheriff, a Democrat, issued a policy earlier this year refusing to cooperate with ICE when it comes to inmates at his 608-bed jail who are in the country illegally. At the time the sheriff, Quentin Miller, proclaimed that enforcing immigration laws is not part of his agency’s duties. Miller also said that “it is vital that members of our immigrant community can call the sheriff’s office without fear when they are in need of assistance from law enforcement.”
Hiding behind that popular open borders rhetoric, the sheriff recently discharged a child sex offender to keep with his county’s sanctuary policy of protecting illegal aliens, even those with atrocious criminal records. The illegal immigrant from El Salvador, Marvin Ramirez Torres, has been on ICE’s radar since 2017 when he got arrested and charged with four felony counts of statutory sex offense with a child. At the time Torres was 23 and his victim was an 11-year-old girl, according to a local newspaper report that also states Torres must register a sex offender for 30 years. The illegal alien was convicted in North Carolina Superior Court for Buncombe County and was sentenced to less than two years in prison. Last week he was freed into the community because the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office refused to honor the federal detainer.