ICE Arrests Illegal Immigrant Sex Offender After North Carolina Local Custody Released Him While On A Detainer Order

Neetu Chandak | Contributor

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested an illegal immigrant and sex offender Monday who was released by a North Carolina jail even though he was on an immigrant detainer.

Mexican national Udiel Aguilar-Castellanos, 44, pleaded guilty for two counts of sexual battery on June 27, ICE reported Wednesday. ICE filed an immigration detainer on Aguilar-Castellanos in Sept. 17 when he was first charged for the sex crimes.

Local officials, however, released Aguilar-Castellanos from Orange County custody on June 27 without informing ICE officials.

“When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders onto the streets it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety,” ERO Atlanta Field Office Director Sean Gallagher said according to the ICE press report.

The victim was an 11-year old girl, according to the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry reported by CBS 17. ICE found out about Aguilar-Castellano’s release after he registered as a sex offender, as part of his plea agreement, on July 11.

“Nearly 90 percent of all foreign nationals taken into ICE custody this year were targeted following their criminal arrest,” Gallagher said. “Despite efforts by certain groups to misrepresent this reality, the fact is ICE continues to focus its enforcement efforts toward criminals and public safety threats.”

While Orange County has faced increased presence from ICE officials, Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue and Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger made clear that they did not want to participate with ICE in the county. (RELATED: Gov. Andrew Cuomo Pardons 7 Ex-Criminal Immigrants To Prevent Their Deportation)

“We are deeply disturbed by the heightened fear and disruption to families that these raids have caused,” a police statement said in April, according to CBS17. “We want to be clear that the Chapel Hill Police Department did not and will not participate in these actions.”

Blue added that the Chapel Hill Police Department felt that immigration enforcement is best left to federal agencies.

“We hope that the most vulnerable among us will see us as the Guardians of the Hill, not as an entity to be feared,” Blue said, according to CBS 17.

Aguilar-Castellanos was ordered for removal from the United States in Jan. 2015 from a federal immigration judge after he was convicted of driving while impaired in 2014. ICE is pending his removal from the U.S. after being a fugitive for over two years.

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