Philly and ICE have different stories about arrest warrant

Philadelphia City Hall (Nathaniel Hamilton/for WHYY)

Philadelphia City Hall (Nathaniel Hamilton/for WHYY)

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is accusing the city of Philadelphia of not living up to its promise of limited cooperation on handing over wanted prisoners. The city claims it is cooperating within its role as a sanctuary city.

ICE officials issued a statement saying the city of Philadelphia released Guillermo Leon-Sandoval after federal officials sent the proper arrest order signed by a federal judge. Despite being a sanctuary city, Philadelphia promises to hand over prisoners when given a judge’s warrant.

First Deputy Managing Director Brian Abernathy says the ICE accusation has a few glaring errors.

“ICE’s assertion that the detainer was accompanied by a warrant is accurate. However there was an error on the face of the warrant, while the warrant was signed by a magistrate judge, the printed name in the title for the signature was for a deportation officer so there was no way for an officer to actually recognize it was a judicial warrant.”

First Deputy Managing Director Brian Abernathy says the city got the documentation, but it was late and not filled out correctly. “We have to make sure the paperwork is accurate in order for officials to make appropriate decisions, in this case 1: The warrant was received after the individual was released and 2: There were errors on the face of the arrest warrant that would not allow an official to make an appropriate decision,” he said.

Sandoval was arrested by federal authorities after being released, and Abernathy says they will surrender any suspect when given the proper paperwork signed by a judge.

ICE says it stands by its charges.

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