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Federal Court Ruling Limits DHS Use of Detainers

Federal Court Ruling Limits DHS Use of Detainers

A recent decision by an Illinois federal court judge has immigration advocates waiting to measure its impact across the country. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) traditionally has used detainers as an important tool in deporting immigrants who have been accused or convicted of crimes in the United States. Detainers are formal requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to local jails to hold non-citizen inmates. ICE typically issues detainers when it believes that an individual being held on criminal charges is subject to deportation. In many cases, local authorities then will hold individuals beyond the typical 48-hour holding period, thus giving federal immigration agents time to pick them up. On September 30, 2016, a U.S. District Court judge in Illinois ruled that the use of detainers by DHS exceeds its legal authority. According to the judge’s ruling, an ICE detainer seeks to detain an individual without a warrant, even when ICE has made no determination that the individual is likely to escape before they can get a warrant. Therefore, the judge found the ICE detainer “void.” This court ruling immediately applies to ICE detainers in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Wisconsin, and also applies to some ICE detainers issued in about 24 additional states. However, if an appellate court upholds the ruling on appeal, or other district courts nationwide make similar rulings, the impact of this court decision could be even more far-reaching. This ruling comes at a time when many jurisdictions have begun to refuse to comply with ICE detainers and establish so-called “sanctuary cities,” in which local governments decline to cooperate with ICE in detaining immigrants with no legal status. When you or a loved one is facing deportation for any reason, Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. is here to help. We care about you, your family, and your ability to remain in the U.S. As a result, our California deportation defense lawyers stand ready to build the strongest possible deportation defense case on your behalf. Contact your Oakland immigration lawyer today and learn how we can advocate for you and your family in your deportation proceedings.

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