Rhode Island court has released illegal immigrant who was arrested for child abuse despite arrest, ICE says

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Law enforcement officials in Rhode Island have released an illegal immigrant arrested for child abuse despite a detainer request filed against him, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

ICE agents have arrested a 22-year-old Guatemalan national in Rhode Island who was locally charged with first-degree child molestation and domestic violence, the agency announced in a news release Friday. The agency condemned local officials in the state for releasing the alien back into the community despite having an immigration detainer placed on him.

“This unlawfully present individual was arrested locally on charges of child abuse and was released back into the community despite an immigration detention,” Todd M. Lyons, director of the ERO Boston Field Office, said in the news release. “We believe it is in the best interest of the community for jurisdictions to honor our immigration detainees so that ICE can take direct custody of these types of individuals who pose a threat to residents.”

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Border Patrol arrested the Guatemalan national, who was not identified in the news release, in November 2018 after he was seen trying to illegally enter the U.S. near Nogales, Arizona. He was given a summons to appear before an immigration judge and was released from federal custody in January 2019.

Providence police issued an arrest warrant for the Guatemalan national in November 2022 on charges of child abuse and sexual assault. Providence police arrested him on February 28, 2024, on the outstanding warrant and domestic violence charge.

After the illegal immigrant checked into a local correctional facility, federal immigration authorities filed a request for his detention. However, ICE says that request was ignored and he was released back into the community by order of the Sixth District Court of Rhode Island.

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The agency said deportation agents were able to apprehend the person later that day “without incident.” He will remain in ICE custody pending a hearing before an immigration judge.

The arrest was the latest in the agency’s ongoing effort to arrest and deport criminal illegal immigrants, despite a lack of cooperation from numerous states and jurisdictions across the country. ICE has taken particular umbrage among New England communities recently, after calling out local authorities in Massachusetts and Connecticut in recent weeks over their refusal to honor immigration detention requests.

A major concern is detention requests, which are filed by ICE agents when a suspected illegal immigrant is taken into custody at a local or state detention center. These detainees ask authorities to notify the agency in advance if they intend to release the alien, and also request that they maintain detention long enough to allow deportation officials sufficient time to make arrests.

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The debate over the extent to which local law enforcement officials should cooperate with ICE has been a hot topic in Rhode Island for years. Like the rest of New England, the state is heavily Democratic, and many Rhode Island lawmakers remain in favor of pro-sanctuary city legislation.

A spokesperson for the city of Providence did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

First published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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