Dallas County says NO to ICE’s immigration holds. As reported today by The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Co. Sheriff Valdez will no longer comply with ICE “detainer” requests to hold non-citizens for immigration. We have fought this battle for our clients for years, as we’ve previously posted.
The holds were based on what law enforcement often called a “hold” or “detainer.” It sounded mandatory, but is not. According to DHS regulations, ICE may REQUEST that law enforcement give ICE a 48-hour notice when a non-citizen is going to be released from jail. Glad some law enforcement is waking up to what’s often been an unconstitutional practice: holding people in jail when there was no legal basis for it.
An immigration “detainer” is an ICE request that a local, state or federal police agency hold a non-citizen for ICE. ICE used “detainers” against half a million people in 2012 and 2013. ICE claims its highest deportation priority is someone who poses serious threats to public safety or national security. But 4 out of 5 immigration holds (“detainers”) were used against non-citizens who have either no criminal conviction, or had at most a misdemeanor or petty offense. Half the detainers were used against people with no conviction at all. The most common offenses were traffic violations, including DWIs.
The detainer information was reported by TRAC, Syracuse University’s data gathering, research and distribution organization.