DHS sued for information on criminal illegal aliens turned over to them (Prince William County)
Today, Prince William County filed a long-anticipated lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The suit demands the release of records pertaining to the criminal illegal aliens detained and transferred by the County to DHS pursuant to its detainer requests since 2008.
In July 2007, Prince William County implemented an illegal immigration enforcement policy that serves as a model for local jurisdictions. The policy requires the immigration status to be checked on every individual taken into physical custodial arrest, and turn over to DHS those arrested individuals who are found to be in the country illegally. To date, Prince William County has transferred more than 4,000 criminal illegal aliens to DHS custody. However the Prince William Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) has become concerned over DHS’s handling of those cases, which led to two separate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for records concerning the disposition of the criminal illegal aliens identified by the County and turned over to DHS. The refusal by DHS to respond to these FOIA requests has forced the County to file its second lawsuit in the past six months on this matter.
The first lawsuit demanded that DHS release a report detailing the circumstances behind DHS’s release of Carlos Martinelly Montano, a criminal illegal alien who had been convicted of DUI, identified as an illegal alien, and handed over to DHS for deportation. He was subsequently released by DHS, issued an Employment Authorization Card, and involved in an automobile accident where he is charged with killing a Benedictine Nun while driving drunk in Prince William County in August 2010. Because of DHS’s failure to adequately detain and deport Mr. Montano, the BOCS became concerned over how the cases of the nearly 3,000 other criminal illegal aliens released to DHS at that time had been handled, and made a FOIA request for the disposition of all those turned over to DHS. In both cases, DHS has failed to respond consistent with federal law to information requests by Prince William County under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).