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Amherst, Northampton among MA cities listed as uncooperative with immigration detainer requests

23 March 2017

A newly-issued report from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is meant to name and shame local police and sheriff's departments that don't cooperate with the feds by holding immigrants in local jails for extra time so they can be taken into ICE custody to face immigration charges.

The list was prompted by an executive order signed by Trump in January that called on the government to document which local jurisdictions aren't cooperating with federal efforts to find and deport immigrants in the country illegally.

Cambridge is listed as one of five uncooperative municipalities in Massachusetts-including neighboring Somerville and Boston-which "will not honor ICE detainer [s]".

The Trump administration report tracked declined detainer requests between January 28 and February 3 and includes the cases of 206 unnamed people around the country who were jailed for "notable" criminal activity. Despite this support, we reported in our article on February 13, some law enforcement personnel are uncertain about their legal right to hold prisoners for possible deportation, following a 2014 ruling by a U.S. District Court of the Northern District of IL that invalidated the federal government's practice of issuing detainers against people in law-enforcement custody.

But he wasn't impressed with the report - a product of President Donald Trump's executive order on so-called sanctuary cities - and he's pushing a measure to instead support immigrants regardless of status. (Harrison says he doesn't know how many 287 (g) cases have led to deportation; ICE didn't respond to a request for information.) Harrison has been questioned by Latino residents at recent community meetings about whether they were likely to be picked up at checkpoints.

"We have tried to be cooperative and it's unfair and misleading to suggest that we're not - especially in these times", Capt. Michael Golio told the New York Times, adding that ICE told him it would remove the county from its next report.

In Vermont, meanwhile, two undocumented activists with the group Migrant Justice were detained by ICE agents on Friday, while leaving the organization's Burlington-based office. That information is then available to a number of other entities, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and even Interpol, an worldwide police organization. But the report - which was issued without giving local law enforcement agencies an opportunity to provide feedback, or to even review ICE's data - appears to contain inaccuracies.

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"King County has refused to abide by these tactics", said King County Councilmember Joe McDermott. In Texas, meanwhile, a federal magistrate judge on Monday confirmed that immigration agents were conducting raids in response to policy changes carried out by the county seat of Austin. "If we're mandated to honor a detainer, we will", said Wyatt.

Officials in Philadelphia and Chester County said their records did not match the report in two of the cases cited in Monday's report.

It will be interesting to see which places are listed in upcoming editions of the "Declined Detainer Outcome Report".

First, a detainer request is made by ICE to the Franklin County jail. If they can't give an answer, he suggested calling local police.

Unlike many politicians, however, most of the nation's sheriffs, who operate about 85 percent of US jails, are supportive of Trump's efforts to deport the many illegal aliens within our borders. One asks law enforcement authorities to hold someone for up to 48 hours after they would otherwise be released.

The city of Raleigh takes a different approach to dealing with undocumented immigrants, says spokeswoman Laura Hourigan. "In the weeks that followed the implementation of our new policy, the number of declined detainer requests quite logically, decreased significantly". "The individuals listed on the report were arrested in Williamson County and a detainer was placed on all four individuals". "[They] tell us who they would like to come and pick up, and, in every case that they have asked, they have been able to come and retrieve that individual", said Franklin County Commissioner David Keller.

"Contrary to popular belief, we do it here and coordinate and collaborate with our federal law enforcement all the time, we just require it be done in a constitutional manner with due process, and with a court issued warrant", said Garcetti.

Amherst, Northampton among MA cities listed as uncooperative with immigration detainer requests