Amherst, Northampton among MA cities listed as uncooperative with immigration detainer requests

23 March, 2017, 01:33 | Author: Brittany Bishop
  • Amherst, Northampton among MA cities listed as uncooperative with immigration detainer requests

Franklin County Commissioner David Keller is wondering why the county is on a list as a top 10 jurisdiction in the country not complying with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) request for detainers.

As part of his push to step up detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants, President Donald Trump mandated in an executive order that the Department of Homeland Security publish more information about local municipalities' interactions with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "In every case we notify ICE in advance of an inmate's release if we have been contacted".

"This shaming in the face of court rulings is nearly a bully tactic and I think it's unfortunate, because we want to work with our federal agencies and vice versa", Sullivan said.

"Essentially, they're asking county sheriffs to violate the Constitution because they're not willing to come get a person unless it's Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.to 5 p.m.", he said.

In Oregon, Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett said the report doesn't accurately describe the legal problems with complying.

Trump's January 25 executive order seeks to crack down on the number of people living in the country illegally by stripping federal grant funding from so-called sanctuary cities that don't arrest or detain undocumented immigrants. They send what's called a detainer, which is separate from a warrant, and is a request to hold people suspected of being undocumented immigrants.

"Generally, we only learn that a detainer is declined when we re-encounter the person", Rodriguez said. The other was for an El Salvadoran national who was convicted of a domestic violence charge.

Currently, ICE picks up about two inmates a month from the local jail. "The sheriff has been sanctioned because ICE didn't come to their defense, despite the fact that person was held based on an ICE request", he said.

The list, which contains information during the period of January 28 to February 3, 2017, reveals that 3,083 immigration detainer requests were ignored by local law enforcement authorities.

Williamson County Sheriff's Office officials also disputed the veracity of the DHS report's claims as it relates to their own level of ICE detainer requests the agency says were denied.

"This first weekly report that ICE has chose to initiate falls during the period in which we implemented our new policy", Major Wes Priddy with the Travis County Sheriff's Office told a local NPR radio station.


Fine print: The report doesn't go into details about what, exactly, constitutes a decline.

"This revelation in open court proves what immigrants and advocates have known for years - that ICE regularly lies to immigrants, local officials, and the media", said Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership, a group that works to support immigrants.

AP reported that several city officials and sheriffs nationwide criticized the list, saying it includes wrong or misleading information about recent arrests of immigrants or local jail policies.

"This is not thoughtful, comprehensive immigration reform", Chavez said.

At Tuesday's press conference, ACIJ officials called for those immigrants to be released.

The first list was released Monday, citing 206 examples of immigrants who were said to have been released from custody by local jails despite requests from federal agents.

Some of those counties said on Tuesday that the ICE report had mischaracterized their relationship with federal authorities.

The Alachua County Sheriff's Office is on the list with Clay County but additionally is pointed out as one of the top counties in the USA that refused to accept detainers.

He said if ICE is interested, but the arrestee posts bail "in the middle of the night, they're not going to respond and [the arrestee will] more than likely walk out the door".

Many other counties, including Alameda, have also instituted noncompliance policies on immigration detainers, although critics there and in Contra Costa County have recently held protests over release notifications that resulted in inmates landing in ICE custody. This assertion was confirmed by the testimony of an ICE Agent named Laron Bryant.

"Contrary to popular belief, we do it here and coordinate and collaborate with our federal law enforcement all the time, we just require it be done in a constitutional manner with due process, and with a court issued warrant", said Garcetti.

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