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ICE launching billboard campaign highlighting 'at-large immigration violators'

ICE launching billboard campaign highlighting 'at-large immigration violators'
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Friday it is launching a billboard campaign in Pennsylvania highlighting immigrants who have been labeled “at-large immigration violators.”

The unprecedented campaign, taking place in one of the nation’s most hotly contested swing states, will highlight immigrants who were released by local law enforcement under so-called sanctuary policies and ICE says, “may pose a public safety threat.”

ICE is basing its campaign on the claim that local agencies “fail to honor immigration detainers” it issues and release “serious criminal offenders,” in turn hindering its efforts to protect the public.

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“Too often sanctuary policies limiting cooperation with ICE result in significant public safety concerns,” said senior official Tony Pham. “ICE will continue to enforce immigration laws set forth by Congress through the efforts of the men and women of ICE to remove criminal aliens and making our communities safer.”

The billboards will feature the names and faces of the immigrants as well as what they were charged with and which law enforcement agency released them. 

Studies have shown that immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than American-born citizens.

The announcement comes as polls show a tight race brewing in Pennsylvania, which President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE narrowly won in 2016 over then-Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHouse Judiciary Republicans mockingly tweet 'Happy Birthday' to Hillary Clinton after Barrett confirmation Hillary Clinton tweets 'vote them out' after Senate GOP confirm Barrett CNN: Kayleigh McEnany praised Biden as 'man of the people' in 2015 MORE. Immigration is a top animating issue for Trump’s base, which rallied behind his call four years ago to build a wall on the border with Mexico.