Thursday, October 9, 2014

Why more and more cities are refusing to help the federal government deport immigrants

Emily Badger of the Washington Post reports on theh growing resistance to Immigration detainers:

"Chicago doesn't cooperate. Neither does Philadelphia. Nor Baltimore, San Diego, Newark, Milwaukee, Miami-Dade or Denver.

One by one, these cities — soon to be joined by New York City — have passed resolutions or enacted new policies refusing to hand over immigrants detained by local police to federal officials for deportation. The strategy, gaining further momentum this year with a statewide law in Colorado, is one way local governments dismayed by a broken federal immigration system have found to undermine it.

At issue are what are called "immigration detainers." The federal government relies on local law enforcement agencies to help identify individuals for deportation. When local police come in contact with suspected immigrants (for reasons ranging from serious offenses to traffic violations), Immigration and Customs Enforcement often issue a detainer, asking local jails and prisons to hold them for 48 hours or more beyond their release to give the feds time to decide if they want to collect and deport them.

The federal government doesn't reimburse local agencies for resources they spend "holding" suspected immigrants on ICE's behalf. And civil rights advocates have repeatedly decried that the practice illegally imprisons people — sometimes for much longer than two days."


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