An illegal Honduran immigrant charged with rape, kidnapping and assault was released onto the streets in Virginia, despite a request by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold him until it could take him into custody to deport him. He was free for nearly two months until ICE was able to arrest him.
ICE announced in a recent press release that it arrested the unnamed Honduran national, charged on Oct. 12, nearly two months after he had been freed from an adult detention center in Fairfax County, Virginia.
The illegal immigrant had entered the U.S. and was arrested by Border Patrol in Texas in June 2021 and released into the country with a Notice to Appear.
In July 2023, he was arrested and charged in Herndon, Virginia, with felony rape by force, threat or intimidation; abduction by force; and assault on a family member. The same day, ICE’s Washington D.C., branch issued a detainer — a request that ICE be alerted when an illegal immigrant is being released from custody in order to move them into deportation proceedings.
However, despite the severity of the charges against him, and the detainer placed on him by ICE, the agency determined on Aug. 17 that the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center released him without letting them know. He was eventually arrested last month in Herndon, Virginia.
ICE criticized the decision not to alert them to the alleged illegal immigrant rapist’s release.
“This undocumented Honduran national has proven to be a detriment to our community and a threat to Virginia residents,” said Russell Hott, Washington D.C., field office director of ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
“ERO Washington remains committed to apprehending criminals who are released back into the local population when a detainer is not honored. We will not allow such noncitizen offenders to roam free and victimize innocent people.”
Fairfax County has refused for years to honor most ICE detainers, a feature of many “sanctuary” jurisdictions. Those who support such policies claim that sanctuary policies make otherwise-lawful illegal immigrants more cooperative with police, because it removes the threat of deportation. However, critics say that it ultimately involves releasing criminals who could otherwise be removed from the country back onto the streets, potentially to re-offend. Fox reported in 2020 that authorities in Fairfax County had denied 98% of ICE detainers in a two-year period.
Fairfax County says it has not been designated a “sanctuary” county; however, it says the sheriff’s office “does not book anyone into the Adult Detention Center nor hold inmates past their court ordered release date without a judicial warrant.”
“Deputies do not participate in, nor provide assistance to, ICE activities out in the community,” the county website says.
The Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.