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Las Vegas Suspends Coordination Efforts with ICE After Federal Ruling

In a recent ruling, a federal court in California determined it would “no longer honor federal immigration detainers for civil immigration violations." After analyzing this decision, the City of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department decided to suspend detainment actions (coordinated with Immigration and Customs Enforcement) for individuals on federal immigration holds.

The federal program they have suspended is known as 287-G. In a tweet, the City of Las Vegas said it would “like to remind the public that [the] city jail is for misdemeanors only.” The state has no current statute approving arrests for civil immigration violations—therefore, ICE’s detainers do not apply.

What Is an ICE Detainer?

A detainer issued by ICE is the request that a police officer holds an inmate for longer than their sentence. An ICE official would then be able to arrive and detain them from alleged civil immigration violations. Federal Judge André Birotte Jr. found these detainers unconstitutional. His decision was partly influenced by the fact that electronic databases sometimes contain errors, and ICE uses these databases to identify individuals who are supposedly unauthorized to reside in the U.S. In 2016, for example, nearly 800 detainers were lifted because the individuals were not subject to removal (some because they were U.S. citizens).

How Does Las Vegas Feel About the Decision?

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department sees this as a setback for removing “the worst of the worst,” but feels an appeal will likely allow LVMPD to continue its fight against violent crime. In the meantime, police at the Clark County Detention Center will still coordinate with ICE in removing undocumented immigrants who have committed violent crimes.

While many support these partnerships with ICE because they supposedly curb violent crime, others are concerned that detainers are unregulated and often unwarranted. Nonviolent immigrants may be detained and then deported without proper court proceedings.

According to Executive Director Tod Story of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, “it's not just inappropriate for Nevada agencies to participate in the federal government's deportation agenda, but it's unconstitutional as well. We'll continue to advocate for the rights of our immigrant communities, and will engage with other police agencies around the state to end their partnerships with ICE.”

Facing Charges or Detainment? Get in Touch with a Seasoned Attorney Now.

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