Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cook County Adopted Ordinance To Reject ICE Detainer Requests

Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" García

Photo: Facebook

Undocumented immigrants held for misdemeanor violations won't be put on ICE hold any longer.

By H. Nelson Goodson
September 8, 2011

Chicago - On Wednesday, the Cook County Board voted 10-5 to adopt an ordinance introduced by 7th District Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" García to end compliance with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) service detainer requests. The ordinance takes effect immediately.
Garcia in a press release cited a recent Indiana federal court decision, which ruled that an ICE detainer is not a criminal warrant or a mandatory order, but simply a request for cooperation.
Undocumented immigrants detained for misdemeanor violations, such as traffic infractions and minor drug charges were placed on ICE hold for a considerable amount of time costing Cook County up to $15.7 million per year or $143 per detainee per day. ICE or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) doesn't reimburse Cook County any of the costs and has refused to indemnify the County for any possible lawsuits and other damages that might result from wrongful arrests, deportation, detention or possible death or injury sustained by individuals held beyond their authorized time of release from Cook County Sheriff's Department, as a result of complying with ICE detainer requests, according to García.
"In America, we don't detain people without probable cause. That would violate constitutional guarantees like due process and equal protection. But these detainers are not based on probable cause and they have been imposed on U.S. Citizens including veterans by mistake, " said Commissioner García, "In fact, there is a lawsuit currently pending in federal court against DHS for this very reason."
The City of Chicago and Cook County have sanctuary ordinances that prohibits local governments from working along with ICE or denying undocumented immigrants public services.

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