Local Jails Denying Federal Immigration Hold Requests

Created: 07/07/2014 6:24 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It's been challenged on the basis of "constitutionality".

And thanks to recent court rulings, some local county jails are changing the way they do business.

It's been a long-time practice of Immigration and Customs Enforcement: “ICE will say please hold this individual until we determine if we're going to deport the person," said Mower County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Mark May.

But more and more these days, local law enforcement agencies are saying we can no longer be a part of it.

They're called "ICE holds" ... requests that inmates be held beyond their normal release times for possible deportation.

"A lot of agencies are saying we don't want to hold them. Once he's done with our charges, he's free to go," Mower County Chief Deputy Mark May told us.

In the past, law enforcement agencies considered it mandatory to honor detainer request from ICE.

But recent federal court rulings have said the detainers are discretionary.

"They're not standing behind the counties on a civil suit," Chief Deputy Mark May explained. “If we get sued by that individual they're not going to say we wanted him. no, it's on the tax payer's dollars in the county."

ICE has argued the detainers are needed for the agency to be able to identify and ultimately remove criminal illegals who end up in custody.

"Mower county is currently revising their policy on this. What we want to do is make sure does ICE want this person. If it's a low-level offense, more than likely once he's done with our charge he'll be released," Chief Deputy Mark may said.

Olmsted, Hennepin and Ramsey counties are among those in Minnesota that will also no longer honor ice detainer requests because of the precedent set in federal court cases.

Photo: ABC 6 News