ICE Chief Threatens Sanctuary City Officials with Jail Time if They Don’t Comply with Subpoenas

Denver and New York City officials are on thin ice with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement this week as a result of their widely publicized unwillingness to comply with federal immigration law.

According to the Washington Examiner, acting ICE Director Matt Albence told reporters Thursday in Washington that local officials who refuse to cooperate, releasing criminal illegal immigrants back into the population rather than handing them or their personal information over to the agency, should be prepared to “show up to court with a toothbrush.”

The agency is now willing to use its full authority under the U.S. legal code to prevent so-called “sanctuary city” policies from hindering immigration enforcement, even if that means having the officials responsible for those policies jailed.

“We expect them to comply” with subpoenas, Albence said. “If they don’t comply, we’ll be working with [the Department of Justice] to go to district court to force them to comply with the requirements.”

“The individuals that fail to comply can be held in contempt,” Albence continued. “They can show up to court with a toothbrush because they might not be going home that night. Because they could be jailed for failure to comply with a lawful order from a judge.”

“That’s the route we’re going,” the ICE chief added.

Going to court, however, is not ICE’s preferred route. Instead, Albence told reporters, it is a “last resort.”

“Hopefully, when some of these other jurisdictions that don’t want to cooperate see that we’re taking this seriously, maybe they’ll come around and try to help us help their own communities,” he said.

Under President Donald Trump, the agency has repeatedly sought cooperation with sanctuary cities, counties and states, reaching out when illegal immigrants are arrested for crimes and requesting that the alleged perpetrators be held until they can be transferred into ICE custody for federal processing.

This decades-old process has been ignored and undermined nationwide.

In locations that endorse such policies, compliance with ICE is no longer the norm.

And there have been numerous cases of alleged criminal immigrants being released back into the general public following arraignment or a decision not to prosecute, as is typical in many criminal cases involving U.S. citizens.

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