U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials say they arrested an illegal alien Mexican national early in November, a week after he was released from criminal custody in North Carolina.
Barajas-Diaz was previously convicted of felony death by motor vehicle in a car crash where he was arrested for DWI.
ICE officials say they arrested Jose Barajas-Diaz during a targeted enforcement action on Nov. 1, one week after the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office refused to honor an ICE detainer, and instead released Barajas-Diaz from local criminal custody.
Barajas-Diaz was initially arrested Jan. 29, 2019, by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) for driving while impaired and felony death by motor vehicle.
ICE lodged an immigration detainer against him with Mecklenburg County the following day. Along with the detainer form, ICE officials say they provided the county with an administrative arrest warrant.
“ICE is willing to work with local partners on ways to fulfill our shared goal of ensuring community safety,” said ICE Atlanta Interim Field Office Director John Tsoukaris. “Unfortunately, elected law enforcement officials who chose not to collaborate with ICE and try to justify their actions by stating they are protecting their community are placing politics above public safety and are actually failing in their most basic duty of protecting their communities. It defies logic how a sheriff would release dangerous criminals to the street instead of to a federal law enforcement agency that has an outstanding warrant of arrest. Uncooperative jurisdictions such as Mecklenburg County should be on notice that as long as criminal offenders are being released, they should get used to seeing a lot more ICE at-large enforcement activity in their communities.”
The arrest comes amid an ongoing dispute between ICE and Mecklenburg County Sheriff Gary McFadden, as McFadden has refused to cooperate with ICE since taking office in late December of last year. That non-cooperation includes refusing to honor ICE detainers and not notifying the agency when inmates who may be in the country illegally are being released from custody.