Residents Ask Flagstaff City Council To Let Illegal Aliens Go Before Calling ICE

The Flagstaff City Council considered the adoption of a resolution of “only notifying ICE of individuals suspected of being undocumented after they are released from custody at Coconino County Detention Center as required by law.” The City Council did not vote on the resolution, but may consider it for a final vote in the future.

In an interview on the Jeff Oravits radio show, Councilman Scott Overton, discussed why he opposed the resolution.

Listen to the Jeff Oravits Radio Show on
The Big Talker at 97.1FM

Overton told Oravits that “this was an issue that was brought to the Council by a citizen, and as you know, anytime a citizen goes through the petition process, Council must take action within 30 days. So in the past, we have sometimes taken an action, sometimes written a resolution, and sometimes taken no action, but the process is pretty clear that we have to do something within 30 days.”

“The clock was ticking,” said Overton, “and the petition was filed with the clerk’s office properly, so therefore the City had to have a discussion about this pending resolution for action by the Council.”

Overton explained that the Council has no control over the treatment of detainees or the circumstances of their release. “Really it is a Sheriff’s policy within the Coconino County jail system, and remember he is an elected official as well,” said Overton referring to Coconino County Sheriff Jim Driscoll. “He works alongside the County Board of Supervisors but in the County side of government.”

“They’ve reached out to the Flagstaff side of government to try to get a resolution to try to get Sheriff Driscoll to change his policies and how he operates the jail system,” explained Overton.

[Listen to the interview here]

“Their best course of action would be to have a discussion with the Sheriff about his policies because they are his policies and I am sure they’re based on federal law, and he is probably following those regulations. Then I think the Board of Supervisors might be an appropriate venue and while the City has a police department, and we do use the Coconino County jail system, really our police department is an arresting agency, and then we really turn over the arrested individual to the Sheriffs Department.”

“The County is the most appropriate jurisdictional venue, but I think they’re really looking to the Council to take a position and have a discussion to have leverage when they go to discuss this with the County authorities,” said Overton. “That really is an inappropriate role for the City Council.”

Across the country, communities are considering similar petitions as part of an effort to protect illegal aliens from certain deportation. The refusal by some communities to notify ICE that a criminal will be released from custody has led to tragedy. ICE Director Thomas Homan reported in 2017 that about 10,000 criminal illegal aliens had been released by sanctuary cities across the U.S. and went on to commit more crimes.

In February 2017, Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone announced he would no longer honor ICE detainers. ICE issued a statement in response, calling it an “immediate, dangerous change.” The agency’s Phoenix director for enforcement and removal operations, Enrique Lucero, was quoted in local media saying: “Immigration detainers have been a successful enforcement tool to prevent the release of dangerous criminals to our streets and mitigate the possibility of future crimes being committed against the residents of our communities,” according to Judicial Watch.

In February 2018, Rep. Bob Thorpe was joined on the floor of the House by Steve Ronnebeck. Steve’s son, Grant was killed by an illegal alien on January 22, 2015.

Grant was killed while working as a clerk at a Mesa QuickTrip convenience store.

“None of us can imagine the enormous pain of losing a child. The man joining me today experiences that pain every minute of every day,” said Representative Thorpe. “At what point are we going to start acting like parents and begin having mature, thoughtful, and empathetic conversations about immigration and our insecure border without fear of offending someone?”

“We owe it to Steve, and the memory of Grant, to commit to a civil and serious conversation about these issues.”

Related article: As DC Debates DACA, Grant Ronnebeck Family Still Mourns

Grant’s murderer, Apolinar Altamirano, age 31, was a DREAMER and felon released early for his crimes when he shot Grant as he was counting the change Altamirano had spilled on the counter to pay for his cigarettes.

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