Two national sheriffs organizations back a deal between federal immigration officials and 17 Florida sheriffs departments that allows local law enforcement to hold illegal immigrants detained on criminal charges for up to 48 hours past their release date so the federal authorities can pick them up and move to deport them, the Wall Street Journal reports. The plan is intended to skirt federal court rulings that bar local law enforcement from holding people just for immigration violations, and allowed them to be sued if they don’t comply.“It’s the best solution, not a perfect solution,” said Pinellas County, Fl., Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
Gualtieri, an executive board member of the National Sheriffs’ Association, said under the new deal with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, federal authorities will decide which immigrants will be held for up to two extra days. ICE will have to present sheriffs with a detention notice and an administrative warrant and pay the local authorities $50 for each immigrant detained. The agreement means local jails effectively will act as a contractor for ICE for up to two days. ICE acting director Thomas Homan said the agreements will allow fewer criminals who face deportation released before federal officials can process them. The National Sheriffs’ Association and the Major County Sheriffs of America support the agreements. The American Civil Liberties Union, a critic of the government’s immigrant detention policies, said the new agreements only repackage bad policies.