U.S. Lists Places Ignoring Immigrant Detainer Requests

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The Department of Homeland Security made good on a Trump administration promise to publicly shame cities and counties that don’t cooperate with federal immigration authorities, reports NPR. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released its first weekly list of local jails and jurisdictions that haven’t honored immigrant detainer requests. Such requests from immigration officials go to cities and counties asking that local law enforcement hold an inmate who is in the country illegally and has been arrested or charged with a crime. The intent is to have such prisoners detained for up to 48 hours so that federal officials can decide whether to pick them up and deport them.

Such cities and counties, commonly described as “sanctuary jurisdictions,” may not cooperate with the detainer requests for a variety of reasons. Some say that cooperating can undermine local trust in the police if immigrants are afraid that reporting a crime will result in their own deportation. Other jurisdictions cite court rulings that have cast doubt on the constitutionality of the detainers. The list published yesterday covers the period Jan. 28 to Feb. 3. It comes during the week after President Trump’s executive order on domestic enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws. The list covers the cases of 206 unnamed individuals who ICE says committed “notable criminal activity” and the jails from which they were released. The crimes listed include drug possession, DUI, domestic violence and aggravated assault. The vast majority of the offenders are from Mexico and Central America. The jurisdictions listed include Los Angeles, Colorado, New York and Travis County, Texas. While 206 of these detainers were ignored, that represents less than 10 percent of the 3,083 detainer requests issued nationwide.

 

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