5 things to know: Lehigh County immigration policy

  • 5 things to know: Lehigh County immigration policy

5 things to know: Lehigh County immigration policy

"And if you go to the ICE website and download this, you'll see it's over 30-something pages of cases where there's a person that is convicted of a crime that local people - local municipal law enforcement, for whatever reason - and in some cases they're prohibited but for one reason or another are not enforcing the law and not turning that individual over to federal authorities to be deported".

In Texas, the Travis County Sheriff's Office is openly disputing the numbers of detainers ICE claims it declined.

The report specifically names communities that have "had the highest volume of detainers issued" between January 28 and February 3 but that "do not comply with detainers on a routine basis".

Orleans Parish is listed on the document for declining to honor a detainer request issued January 31 for an individual from Mexico with a battery conviction. Read the report here.

The 206 cases ICE identified in its list, however, include some detainer requests made as early as 2014 and don't represent every detainer request issued, according to the Associated Press.

Franklin County made the top in ICE's list of most uncooperative jurisdictions in the U.S.

So did Franklin County in south-central Pennsylvania, which "recognizes ICE detainers as non-binding requests, not mandatory orders", and will not hold inmates beyond their release dates, the report states. Fifty-six of the people ICE wanted were linked to some form of assault; 40 had DUI charges or convictions. The other was for an El Salvadoran national who was convicted of a domestic violence charge.

New York City was listed as turning down four requests to hold detainees at its prisons.

Urquhart said the rules were created before some of the federal rulings that determined the unconstitutionality of detainers. They have justified some of the controversial arrests by saying they were not actually at sensitive locations ― in the case of the hypothermia shelter, they were across the street ― and that arrested individuals had criminal records.

"I believe that, constitutionally, local governments can not be forced to comply, to help ICE", Sánchez said Tuesday.

Urquhart emphasized that he needs people to feel safe calling 911. "We recognize that the federal government absolutely has the authority to enforce immigration law".

Perry County District Attorney Andrew Bender said it's not accurate to say that the county is not cooperating with ICE.

"ICE looks forward to working with Los Angeles and other jurisdictions across the country in the coming weeks and months on this important issue".

On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security released its first "Declined Detainer Outcome Report", which is a new weekly report mandated by President Donald Trump's executive order "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States".

Recently a video has been circulating, shot on Denver city courthouse steps that shows ICE agents stationed, waiting to arrest, detain, and possibly deport illegal immigrants near the civic building.

"In an accompanying news release, Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan stated that when local law enforcement fails to honor ICE detainers "...it undermines ICE's ability to protect the public safety..."

In Philadelphia, city officials said their immigration policy is simply following a Constitutional ban on incarcerating someone without a warrant. But the report - which was issued without giving local law enforcement agencies an opportunity to provide feedback, or to even review ICE's data - appears to contain inaccuracies.

Wolgemuth explained that the almost 10-year-old policy was established to limit the county's liability when Lehigh County was sued after it mistakenly jailed an American citizen for three days on an ICE detainer in 2008.

Several city officials and sheriffs around the USA lashed out Tuesday at a White House report aiming to shame them over what the Trump administration sees as lax immigration policies, saying it includes wrong or misleading information about recent arrests of immigrants or their jail policies.

City and county officials in Oregon, Rhode Island and Texas either disputed how the report characterized their handling of immigrant arrests, or challenged some of the cases. "In the weeks that followed the implementation of our new policy, the number of declined detainer requests quite logically, decreased significantly".