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Immigration or ICE holds have no legal force

The National Association of Public Defense recently did an expose article on the fallacy of Immigration holds or ICE holds where non-citizens can not be bonded out or released from local jails because immigration authorities have placed a hold on them. Ahold is the result of a warrant signed by a judge or a court order preventing the release of a prisoner or pre-trial detainee.  Apparently, the source of the ICE hold is a Form I-247 Immigration Detainer Request issued by Immigration and Customs and Enforcement otherwise known as “ICE.” Court opinions by federal judges in Oregon, Rhode Island, and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals have concluded that immigration detainers are merely requests and do not meet the required evidentiary standards to satisfy a government-initiated seizure-like an arrest warrant signed by a judge or a federal or state court order.  These decisions make two things clear: (1) I-247 immigration detainers are administrative requests, and therefore pose no legal obligation that sheriffs must comply with, and (2) local sheriffs who decide to honor these requests, do so at his or her own peril risking lawsuits for false arrest and imprisonment.

-Author: George Creal

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