Immigration Law

CA3: ICE Detainers Are Not Mandatory - Galarza v. Szalczyk

"Ernesto Galarza is a U.S. citizen who was arrested for a drug offense, posted bail, and instead of being released, was held in custody by Lehigh County under an immigration detainer issued by federal immigration officials. Three days after Galarza posted bail, immigration officials learned that he was a U.S. citizen. The detainer was withdrawn and Galarza was released. Galarza then filed this § 1983 action against, in relevant part, Lehigh County, contending that Lehigh County detained Galarza without probable cause for more than 48 hours, without notice of the basis of his detention or the ability to contest it. The District Court dismissed the complaint against Lehigh County on the basis that it could not be held responsible for Galarza’s detention because it was compelled to follow the immigration detainer. On appeal, Galarza argues that under a plain reading of the relevant federal regulation, immigration detainers are permissive and, to hold otherwise, would violate the anti-comandeering principles inherent in the Tenth Amendment. We agree with Galarza that immigration detainers do not and cannot compel a state or local law enforcement agency to detain suspected aliens subject to removal. Accordingly, we vacate and remand for further proceedings. ... [W]e conclude that 8 C.R.F. § 287.7 does not compel state or local LEAs to detain suspected aliens subject to removal pending release to immigration officials." - Galarza v. Szalczyk, Mar. 4, 2014.