According to Federal Court Rulings, States and Localities Are not Required to Honor Immigration Detainer Requests

Clackamas County JailAccording to a recent article, a federal court ruling in Oregon is the latest in a series of federal cases clarifying the authority of local officials to deny immigration detainer requests issued by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). The rulings “make it clear that local officials are not required to honor immigration authorities’ request that someone in custody continue to be held even though their original charges were resolved.” Furthermore, the case affirmed other federal opinions finding local jurisdictions may be held liable for detaining individuals beyond the length charges allow.

In the Oregon case, a federal judge found that a woman’s constitutional rights were violated when she was held in a Clackamas County jail despite being eligible for pre-trial release and after her state charges were dropped. The woman was originally in jail on a 48-hour sentence for contempt of court, but ultimately spent two weeks in the County detained on a request from ICE.

This case comes in wake of a 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals decision last month – along with a Rhode Island district court ruling – holding that state and local “authorities are not required to comply with requests from ICE to hold people on detainers without probable cause” and that jurisdictions that do comply with requests may be held liable.

Following the Clackamas County ruling, four Oregon counties have halted compliance with immigration holds. In addition, the regional jail servicing Sherman, Gilliam, Wasco, and Hood River will no longer honor detainer requests.

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