Immigration Law

ICE offers workaround to allow police in sanctuary cities to temporarily detain immigrants

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced a new program this week to allow local law enforcement officers to detain some immigrants in the country illegally in sanctuary jurisdictions that bar immigration cooperation.

The program trains local police to become warrant service officers for ICE who can serve warrants on behalf of the agency inside local jails and correctional facilities where they work, according to a press release. ICE will then have 48 hours to take the immigrant into custody.

The program allows local police to detain criminal suspects for ICE for two days past the time at which they would have been released from custody, the Washington Post explains. The Hill also has coverage.

The warrant service officers will receive one day of training at a local site and will receive federal credentials. The program can be used in sanctuary jurisdictions and in rural areas that lack the budget and resources to send personnel to the usual four-week training session.

Unlike law enforcement agencies that fully cooperate with ICE, police departments that join the warrant service officer program won’t question immigrants about their citizenship or ask whether they are unlawfully present in the United States.

The American Civil Liberties Union criticized the new program by ICE.

“The agency explicitly aims to subvert the will of local communities that have passed ordinances to prevent exactly this kind of cooperation between police and ICE,” said Lorella Praeli, the ACLU’s deputy political director in a statement. “We urge local law enforcement to resist this dangerous proposal and stand by their commitment to the communities they serve.”

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