Connecticut law enforcement officials released an illegal immigrant convicted of killing two young children in a drunk driving accident, despite a detainer request lodged against him, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

ICE agents arrested the man, identified as Israel Alejandro Gonzalez-Arcinega, 40. The Mexican national was convicted 10 years ago of two counts of manslaughter, illegal operation of a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, and other crimes in Connecticut, the agency announced in a press release Monday.


ICE criticized local officials in Connecticut for releasing a noncitizen despite an immigration detainer placed on him.

“Israel Gonzalez was convicted of driving under the influence and killing two Connecticut children,” Todd M. Lyons, director of Enforcement and Removal Operations at ICE’s Boston Field Office, said in a written statement. “His actions shattered a family.”

“We cannot allow unlawfully present convicted felons to victimize the residents of our communities,” Lyons said. “ERO Boston will continue to prioritize public safety by apprehending and removing egregious offenders like Mr. Gonzalez from our New England neighborhoods.”

Gonzalez was arrested in 2013 after a car crash in Meriden, Connecticut, that killed two children and injured others, according to local reporting at the time. Authorities said he fled the scene after the crash killed an 8-year-old boy and his 5-year-old sister and hospitalized their parents.

ICE said it lodged an immigration detainer for Gonzalez with the Meriden Police Department immediately following his arrest.

The Mexican national was convicted on April 21, 2014, in Connecticut Superior Court in Meriden of two counts of manslaughter; three counts of second-degree assault; operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol; and evading responsibility for death or serious injury, according to the agency. Gonzalez was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

About a year after his sentencing, an immigration judge in Hartford ordered Gonzalez to be deported to his native country of Mexico.

Despite this deportation order and a detainer request, ICE said, the Connecticut Department of Corrections released Gonzalez on April 2 without notifying ICE. However, deportation officers were able to arrest Gonzalez on May 1 during a vehicle stop in Meriden, the agency announced.

The arrest was part of ICE’s drive to arrest and repatriate criminal illegal immigrants, despite a lack of cooperation from numerous states and other jurisdictions across the country. The agency has taken particular umbrage with New England communities recently, issuing press releases about local authorities in Massachusetts and Connecticut who refused to honor detainer requests.

“Detainers are critical public safety tools because they focus enforcement resources on removable noncitizens who have been arrested for criminal activity,” ICE said Monday.

The Center for Immigration Studies identifies Connecticut as a “sanctuary” jurisdiction, citing state legislation enacted in 2019 that prevents local law enforcement from holding an illegal alien on an immigration detainer unless “accompanied by a warrant signed by a  judge and the person is guilty of a serious felony or is on a terrorist watch list.”

The Connecticut Department of Corrections did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation