Friday, December 21, 2012

Breaking News: ICE Changes Detainer Policy

Today ICE Director John Morton issued orders to ICE officials that give in to much of the criticism on ICE detainers that has been voiced by officials in Santa Clara County, CA, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Cook County, IL, and elsewhere.

Morton's memo contains the following language:

Consistent with ICE's civil enforcement priorities and absent extraordinary circumstances, ICE agents and officers should issue a detainer in the federal, state, local, or tribal criminal justice systems against an individual only where (1) they have reason to believe the individual is an alien subject to removal from the United States and (2) one or more of the following conditions apply:

-the individual has a prior felony conviction or has been charged with a felony offense;

-the individual has three or more prior misdemeanor convictions;2

the individual has a prior misdemeanor conviction or has been charged with a misdemeanor offense ifthe misdemeanor conviction or pending charge involves-
   -- violence, threats, or assault;
   -- sexual abuse or exploitation;
   -- driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance;
   --  unlawful flight from the scene of an accident;
    --unlawful possession or use ofa firearm or other deadly weapon;
   -- the distribution or trafficking ofa controlled substance; or
   -- other significant threat to public safety;

-the individual has been convicted of illegal entry pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1325;

-the individual has illegally re-entered the country after a previous removal or return;

- the individual has an outstanding order of removal;

-the individual has been found by an immigration officer or an immigration judge to have knowingly committed immigration fraud; or

-the individual otherwise poses a significant risk to national security, border security, or public safety.

This is an important, partial victory against the Secure Communities program.


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