Trump calls out Kent County ICE policy at BC rally

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — President Donald Trump doubled down on local rules that run afoul of his immigration policies during a campaign rally in Battle Creek Wednesday night.  

“Earlier this year, authorities in the sanctuary jurisdiction of Kent County, Michigan. Anybody know Kent County? … Released an illegal alien charged with assault with the intent to murder, after he repeatedly and viciously stabbed a man in the head with a broken bottle. They let him go to roam free in Michigan communities,” Trump told the crowd at Battle Creek’s Kellogg Arena.

The president didn’t provide details on the case.

News 8 learned he was talking about 22-year-old Ariel Anain Maldonado-Serrano, a Honduran national accused of the crime. 

The actual charge, according to the state’s criminal history website, was assault with a dangerous weapon.

The incident occurred during a fight between Maldonado-Serrano and another man in Grand Rapids on Oct. 20, 2018.

Maldonado-Serrano was the subject of a news release sent out by ICE after he was released from the Kent County Jail, after serving his sentence on the assault, despite a request by ICE to hold him.

In the release, ICE criticized a policy introduced by Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young earlier this year.

“The release of criminal aliens back on West Michigan streets continues to pose a serious threat to our communities,” Rebecca Adducci, an ICE spokesperson, said.

LaJoye-Young instituted the policy, which requires ICE to obtain a judicial warrant, not just an agency request, to hold inmates wanted by the federal agency.

The policy came in the wake of the arrest of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, the man who started a fire inside Spectrum Butterworth Hospital last year.

Ramos-Gomez was mistakenly held on an ICE retainer, despite the fact he is an American citizen and Marine veteran.

In November, the Grand Rapids City Commission unanimously approved a $190,000 payment that the city would pay as a settlement.

LaJoye-Young declined an interview Thursday to respond to the president’s attack, but she defended the policy in an interview with News 8 back in March.

“We came to the conclusion that there needed to be a judicial oversight inserted into that process to give us the assurance that somebody wasn’t erroneously detained without due process,” LaJoye-Young told News 8 in March. “We’re are not trying to make a political statement about immigration being a good thing to enforce or not a good thing to enforce.”

Maldonado-Serrano was eventually picked up by ICE after his release.

We reached out to the agency for Maldonado-Serrano current status but have not heard back.