Immigration Detainers are Non-Binding, Federal Appeals Court Rules

"The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [on Mar. 4, 2014] ruled that states and localities are not required to imprison people based on "detainer" requests from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, ICE, recognizing that states and localities may share liability when they participate in wrongful immigration detentions. The ruling in Galarza v. Szalczyk, et al., stems from Lehigh County Prison’s wrongful detention of Ernesto Galarza, a U.S. citizen, who despite posting bail and telling his jailers that he was born in New Jersey was held in jail for three days because of an ICE detainer that stated only that ICE was investigating his immigration status.

Mr. Galarza’s complaint alleges that the detainer was issued based on his race, without any valid basis to believe that he was a removable non-citizen. The Third Circuit’s decision recognized that because ICE detainers are non-binding requests, Lehigh County can be held legally responsible for imprisoning Mr. Galarza for three days on this basis." - ACLU, Mar. 4, 2014.