Calling it the “latest weapon in Donald Trump’s war on immigrants and the Constitution,” a spokesperson for one of the country’s prominent immigrant rights groups lambasted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s new detainer policy, promising to take the fight to the the courts.
“The new detainer policy is the latest weapon in Donald Trump’s war on immigrants and the Constitution,” said Tania Unzueta, the legal and policy director for Mijente. “The fourth amendment isn’t negotiable and ICE’s new policy violates it. If the White House is intent on destroying the pillars of government along with our families, it will be up to us, local officials and the courts to prevent it. Meanwhile, it shows the urgency for transforming policing practices so that fewer people are placed into Trump’s dragnet.”
In response to a February memo by Department of Homeland Security John Kelly that called to “eliminate the existing detainer forms and replace them with a new form to more effectively communicate with recipient law enforcement agencies,” ICE has published a new detainer policy and a new I-247A form to reflect that policy. According to ICE, the agency “places detainers on aliens who have been arrested on local criminal charges and for whom ICE possesses probable cause to believe that they are removable from the United States, so that ICE can take custody of the alien when he or she is released from local custody. When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission.”
ICE’s new I-247A form was made public last week:
It also published its new policy for the I-247A form, as well as guidelines for implementation:
Mijente stated that the “new form has zero prioritization, something developed under the Obama administration to focus on who would be targeted by deportation and who wouldn’t.”
“It now is a universal blanket for anyone suspected of being undocumented,” Mijente wrote in a media release.
“Further, the language of ‘administrative warrant’ is intended to confuse people to give detainers more legitimacy than they do,” Mijente added. “They are still not signed by a judge and are still not an actual warrant with legal standing.”
As part of the same released, Unzueta referred to a current lawsuit a Maricopa Country detainer issued to Jacinta Gonzalez for what Unzueta claims is “a clear case of racial profiling.”
The revised detainer policy coincides a new weekly report issued by ICE that lists which jurisdictions around the country have denied certain detainers.
On Monday afternoon, Attorney General Jeff Sessions referred to the denied detainer report in calling for the removal of Department of Justice funds from jurisdictions who he says are not following federal immigration laws:
WATCH: Attorney General Jeff Sessions takes aim at “sanctuary cities” during White House press briefing https://t.co/OWS5uX0juw
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 27, 2017