Act Now: Contact MD Legislators To End ICE Detainers

Act Now: Contact MD Legislators To End ICE Detainers

HB913/SB817: Correctional Facilities and Police Officers – Procedures – Immigration Status

The bill prohibits Maryland correctional facilities officers and Maryland police officers from detaining incarcerated persons beyond their state law release date or notifying Federal immigration authorities of a person’s state law release date, location or address without a Federal judicial warrant (i.e., signed by a judge).

The bill is under consideration in the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. A hearing in the Senate committee is scheduled for 2/21 at 12:00 p.m. No hearing date has been set in the House committee.

Please consider composing testimony and contacting your legislator if she is a member of one of the committees to support this bill.

Sen. Katie Fry Hester, District 9, is a member of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee

Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary, District 13, is the Vice-Chair of the House Judiciary Committee

Some Background

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement routinely uses “administrative” warrants signed by ICE supervisors or by ICE agents to request local law enforcement agencies to “detain” a person for up to 48 hours in custody after the person’s release date. No one should be deprived of his liberty based on an administrative, not judicial procedure. An ICE administrative warrant cannot provide the basis for local or state law enforcement officers to arrest or detain anyone. An ICE warrant can only be used by U.S. Department of Homeland Security personnel. An ICE “detainer,” on the other hand, is a request to local law enforcement agencies based on an alleged civil immigration violation, not a crime. And, as such, several Federal courts have ruled that it does not meet Fourth Amendment requirements to arrest or detain someone. However, current ICE policy is to continue “to issue detainers and requests for notification to law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to provide notice of its intent to assume custody of an individual detained in federal, state, or local custody. Detainers are placed on aliens arrested on criminal charges for whom ICE possesses probable cause to believe that they are removable from the United States.”

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh in 2017 concluded that compliance by state and local law enforcement agencies with ICE is voluntary and potentially exposes law enforcement officials to liability if they hold someone beyond her release date.

Yet, ICE and local law enforcement agencies who have signed 287g agreements continue to arrest and detain individuals despite court rulings allowing individuals to remain in the U.S. Consider, for example, the Maryland case of Roxana Orellanos Santos, who won a civil rights lawsuit against Frederick County  for a Fourth Amendment violation and despite a 2017 court order allowing her to remain, was subsequently detained by ICE in Baltimore.

The Baltimore Sun reports that ICE has made innumerable detainer requests to Maryland state and local law enforcement agencies and Governor Hogan appears, by his silence, to accept the detention beyond the legal release date, thus continuing an inhumane and constitutionally questionable practice that makes our own police and correctional officers liable.

A Goucher public opinion poll in 2017 reported that only 11 percent of Marylanders favor identifying and deporting undocumented immigrants. Obviously, Marylanders, like most Americans, find ICE practices to be out of step with our values.

For more information about UUCC Immigration Action Team, please contact Jim Caldiero or Tammy Spengler, immigration@uucolumbia.net

Sources:

Santos: https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-roxana-santos-20190108-story.html

ICE Detainer Policy: https://www.ice.gov/detainers

Abuse of ICE Detainers: https://www.aclu.org/blog/immigrants-rights/ice-and-border-patrol-abuses/florida-sheriff-worked-ice-illegally-jail-and

https://www.aclu.org/cases/peter-sean-brown-v-richard-ramsay

Baltimore Sun ICE Detainer Requests: https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/blog/bs-md-ice-requests-20171016-story.html

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