Following a decision by a Unites States magistrate judge, Sheriffs in nine Oregon counties announced they will not honor ICE detainer request from federal immigration authorities. The use of immigration detainers has expanded in recent years from a program called Secure Communities; which the Obama administration extended to all law enforcement jurisdictions. Under the program, fingerprints of anyone booked by local or state police are checked against federal immigration databases. Based on those checks, ICE agents will decide to ask the police to hold the immigrants longer. Although these measures are intended for violent offenders and those deemed a danger to society, often they in a violation of immigrant’s rights.
Maria Miranda Olivares is an example of an unlawfully detained immigrant that has now filed a lawsuit against Clackamas County for being detained an additional 19 hours after her sentence was served. The county argued that the Sheriff had been required to hold her by the federal detainer. Historically, jails have treated these requests for ICE detainers as more of a requirement but there is no legal obligation for the jail to enforce such requests.
According to Ms. Miranda’s attorney, the jail was making a decision not to release her until ICE agents showed up. It is logical for State and Federal authorities to work together but this case fuels the growing disconnect between these agencies.
The Sheriff’s decision could expose counties nationwide to the liability of following the ICE request; however, jails not honoring requests by ICE agents will not preclude apprehending immigrants following their release. For the latest Immigration news or for help with an immigration bond, please contact US Immigration Bonds at 1-800-225-2587.