Public Safety & Justice

Minnesota County Joins Cities Refusing to Detain Immigrant Inmates

June 12, 2014
 

Citing constitutionality questions, Hennepin County said Wednesday it will no longer grant federal requests to hold immigrant inmates for 48 hours beyond their normal release times for possible deportation.

In the past, law enforcement agencies considered it mandatory to honor detainer requests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for certain undocumented immigrants. However, recent directives from ICE and federal court rulings have said the detainers are now discretionary.

“This is an historic occasion,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. “There is no legal basis to hold people with detainers.”

With its decision, Hennepin County joined a national trend against “ICE hold” requests. More than 50 jurisdictions nationwide, including sheriffs in Philadelphia and several Oregon counties, recently stopped the practice. And Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco won’t detain immigrants with minor criminal records.

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