Donald Trump’s administration has published its first list of alleged crimes committed by immigrants.
From now on, the document will be released weekly by the Department of Homeland Security.
Alleged crimes range from rape and murder down to traffic offenses and drug possession.
However, more than half of the entries are charges, where the offence has not yet been proved.
It does not list every undocumented immigrant to have committed a crime, but ‘examples’ who are currently in America and haven’t been deported despite a request by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
Trump signed an executive order for the policy in January, saying he wanted to ‘on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.’
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Declined Detainer Outcome Report does not give names but includes the person’s country of origin, where they were detained and what their alleged crime is.
It has been seen as an attempt to shame ‘sanctuary cities’ which refuse to hand over people to be deported.
The backdated list covers the period from January 28 to February 3, starting the week after Trump took office.
Police have spoken out about being asked to operate as another branch of immigration, saying that if they always held people for longer so they could be deported, they would lost the trust of the communities where they serve.
Nisha Agarwal, commissioner of immigrant affairs in New York, said they would hand over people convicted of serious crimes but not those accused of minor crimes who hadn’t even been convicted yet.
‘Our top priority is safety, and that means we need every resident – regardless of immigration status – to feel comfortable interacting with law enforcement and reporting crimes,’ she told NY Daily News.
According to the report, ICE made 3,083 requests for police to detain people during the period, and were declined at least 206 times.
Many of their unsuccessful requests were in Travis County, Texas, where the county sheriff Sally Hernandez said she would limit cooperation with federal immigration except for serious crimes, as ‘our community is safer when people can report crimes without fear of deportation.’