Feds: Goodbye “immigration sanctuaries”. They’re slapping Oregon police departments with subpoenas.


PORTLAND, OR – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is stepping up, calling immigration sanctuaries on the carpet, and doing their job.

“We will not be governed by dangerous sanctuary laws and community leaders who put politics over public safety to interfere with our mission to remove dangerous criminal aliens from the community,” ICE said in a statement. 

They served five immigration subpoenas Friday on the Hillsboro Police Department, Wasco County Sheriff’s Office and Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.

ICE says it’s seeking information on people living in the U.S. illegally who were arrested on criminal charges in these jurisdictions. 

HSI, ICE, Police - Screenshot from PBS YouTube video
HSI, ICE, Police – Screenshot from PBS YouTube video

ICE uses statutorily-authorized administrative subpoenas to obtain information as part of investigations regarding potential removable aliens.

They have not historically needed to use its lawful authority to issue these subpoenas to obtain information from other law enforcement agencies, as most law enforcement agencies throughout the country willingly provide ICE with information regarding aliens arrested for crimes in the interest of public safety.

ICE is using every tool available to obtain information regarding the whereabouts and other relevant information regarding removable aliens (both in the custody of local jails and at large) from jurisdictions that are unable to, or chose to not cooperate with the federal agency.

This all comes in the heels of the two subpoenas that ICE issued in Oregon last week, serving subpoenas to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, looking for two men, one whom ICE said had already been released.

ICE pointed out that these immigration subpoenas are necessary due to dangerous sanctuary laws that are forcing Oregon counties, to include local law enforcement agencies in these counties, to refuse ICE’s requests for information and cooperation.

“Politically motivated sanctuary laws tie the hands of local law enforcement agencies who clearly see that working with ICE is crucial to public safety,” said Bryan Wilcox.

He’s the deputy field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations-Seattle.

“These irresponsible laws and policies not only unnecessarily pit federal and local law enforcement officers against each other, but provide a refuge for criminal aliens who prey on people in their communities.

The public needs to know that cooperation between all law enforcement agencies make their communities safer by holding criminals accountable and providing justice and closure for their victims.”

The criminal aliens about whom ICE sought information from Washington County include:

Case 1

On June 24, 2014, the Washington County Circuit Court convicted a 39-year-old citizen of Mexico for sexual abuse in the first degree and sentenced him to 75 months incarceration in the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC).

On Jan. 15, 2020, the ODOC transferred custody of the man to the Washington County Jail located in Hillsboro, Oregon.

On Jan. 15, 2020 ICE lodged an immigration detainer with the Washington County Jail where he is serving his sentence.

In February 2009 the man was also convicted of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the first degree and sentenced to a fine and 18 months’ probation.

He is currently facing additional charges for displaying a child in sexual conduct, nine charges of sexual abuse in the first degree and four charges of sodomy in the first degree.

Case 2

On Dec. 9, 2019, officers with the Hillsboro Police Department in Oregon, arrested a 44-year-old citizen of Mexico and charged him with driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, two probation violations for driving under the influence of intoxicants, failure to appear in the second degree for driving under the influence of intoxicants and failure to appear in the second degree for reckless driving.

The man also has three previous arrests between 1999-2018 for driving under the influence of intoxicants.

On Dec. 30, 2019, the Washington County Circuit Court in Hillsboro, Oregon, dismissed the reckless driving charge but convicted the man of driving under the influence of intoxicants and sentenced him to 268 days jail, $654.00 fine and probation for two years.

On an unknown date between Dec. 12, 2019, and Dec. 17, 2019, the Washington County jail released the man despite an active immigration detainer being in place. The man remains at large.

The Sheriff’s office claim that both men are still in custody.  

They even released a statement last Tuesday:

“The Department of Homeland Security issued Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett two immigration enforcement subpoenas to produce records related to two different individuals in current custody of the Washington County Jail.

The subpoenas, at issue, were signed by an authorized U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official and were properly served. The subpoenas are specifically authorized by federal law, 8 United States Code section 1225(d) and by the Code of Federal Regulations, 8 CFR 287.4.

This administrative subpoena power has existed as part of the federal law for decades, and has been upheld by the US Supreme Court. See US v. Minker, 76 S Ct 281 (1955).

Oregon law prohibits local police from sharing certain information for purpose of enforcement of federal immigration laws, except as provided by state or federal law (see ORS 180.805). The information sought in these subpoenas relates to information that local police are generally prohibited from sharing under Oregon law and failure to comply with these subpoenas may be punished by an order of contempt by a federal judge.

Sheriff Garrett swore an oath to uphold state and federal law. The information commanded by the subpoenas is required by federal law, and may be provided as specifically allowed by ORS 180.805(1); therefore, the requested information will be shared.”

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The newest round of subpoenas include two in Clackamas County, where ICE is seeking information on a 27-year-old Mexican citizen who is facing two counts of recklessly endangering other person, reckless driving, and criminal mischief in the second degree.

That individual was also arrested on five counts of failure to appear on January 9th. ICE said it issued an immigration detainer with the Clackamas County Jail on January 10th.

Three days later, ICE said the jail released the man without alerting them, despite the active immigration detainer being in place. ICE said this man has been removed from the U.S. five times previously.

convicted child molester


The second subpoena issued to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office is for a 25-year-old Mexican citizen who is charged with unlawful possession of heroin and unlawful delivery of heroin.

ICE said it previously issued an immigration detainer for this man on January 6th, but the jail released the man that same day without alerting ICE. Ice said this man was previously removed from the U.S. in 2019.

With the Hillsboro Police Department, ICE issued a subpoena for a 44-year-old Mexican man who was arrested on December 9, 2019 on charges of driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, two probation violations for DUI, second-degree failure to appear for a DUI charge and second-degree failure to appear for a reckless driving charge.

ICE said this man has previously been arrested three times between 1999 and 2018 for DUI charges. He was also convicted of DUI in Washington county on December 20, 2019 and was sentenced to 268 days in jail.

Do not forget, Joe Biden has said that under his Presidency, if elected, DUI is not an offense that will lead to deportation…no matter how many of them you have. 

ICE issued a subpoena in Wasco County for a 32-year-old Mexican citizen who was arrested on January 15th for second-degree failure to appear and unlawful possession of methamphetamine charges. ICE said the man was released from jail custody on January 19th. They said this man has an extensive criminal record. He has previously been removed from the U.S. five times between 2010 and 2014.

Since January, ICE has issued similar immigration subpoenas in California, Colorado, Connecticut and New York.

Oregon’s 1987 sanctuary state law, the country’s first, prevents law enforcement agencies from detaining people who are in the U.S. illegally but have not broken any other law. Authorities in the state won’t hold in custody those who committed crimes and have finished their sentences to be picked up by federal immigration agents, unless they have a warrant signed by a judge.

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