March 21, 2019
ICE Issuing Deportation Orders for U.S. Citizens…
From the Miami News Times:
Two American citizens who live in South Florida— Miamian Garland Creedle and Keys resident Peter Sean Brown — sued Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties after being wrongly held in jail and nearly deported thanks to mistaken paperwork from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Frighteningly, those two people are not alone. According to a report released today by the American Civil Liberties Union, ICE erred in issuing 420 “detainer requests” for U.S. citizens in Miami-Dade from 2017 to 2019 alone. It’s unclear how many of those 420 people were actually detained by county police or jails, but it’s possible tens or hundreds of Americans have been sitting behind bars in the Magic City awaiting wrongful deportation.
The ACLU obtained Miami-Dade’s ICE detainer documents as part of Creedle’s lawsuit against the county. According to the group’s report, ICE voluntarily rescinded 83 of those requests after likely realizing the orders were mistakes.
This following a CNN report documenting that ICE agents will forge warrants and other paperwork for people they consider to be here illegally.
Lawyers and advocates interviewed by CNN expressed surprise about the improperly signed warrants, which could be used to challenge individual deportation orders at immigration hearings.
“If there’s evidence of that, that’s a big deal,” said Jeremy McKinney, a member of the executive committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, whose members represent clients in deportations and immigration matters. “That’s the root of an illegal arrest.”
More broadly, improperly signed warrants could become a point of contention in several ongoing lawsuits over ICE’s practice of asking law enforcement to hold undocumented immigrants in detention up to 48 hours longer than they otherwise would. With each such request, called a detainer, ICE sends along a warrant.
Circumventing Sanctuary Policies
All of the above are good reasons not to cooperate with ICE. State or, more often, local authorities often seek to push back against federal immigration enforcement, usually by refusing to cooperate with ICE on data sharing or refusing ICE access to jails. Where these sanctuary laws have been implemented, however, they can also be undermined by informal networks linking police and federal agents. From the Associated Press:
Two years after New Mexico’s largest county barred local law enforcement from cooperating with immigration authorities, its leaders learned that the policy was being subverted from within.
Staff members at the Bernalillo County jail in Albuquerque were still granting immigration authorities access to its database and, in some cases, tipping them off when a person of interest was being released.
“I was surprised and horrified,” said Maggie Hart Stebbins, chairwoman of the Bernalillo County Commission. “Individual employees do not have the freedom to pick and choose what they want to observe.”
The disclosure last month cast a spotlight on an often-overlooked way in which immigration officials around the U.S. may be getting around local “sanctuary” policies — through informal relationships with police and others willing to cooperate when they’re not supposed to. Immigration activists say they have seen it places like Philadelphia, Chicago and several communities in California, which has a statewide sanctuary law.