Colorado Sheriffs Drop ICE Holds / Detainers

Colorado Sheriffs Drop ICE Holds / Detainers

"Several Colorado sheriffs will no longer honor requests from federal immigration authorities to continue to detain someone once they are eligible to be released on the charges for which they were initially arrested. ... Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said in an email shared with The Associated Press that inmates with ICE detainers will be released once any state or federal charges are resolved.  "This recent court decision in Oregon is a game changer regarding ICE holds on detainers," Pelle said in an email dated Monday. The email goes on to say that attorneys advised the sheriff that the office has "potential civil exposure, and no state statutory authority for holding people on detainers."  Pelle said in the email that they would make an exemption if ICE or any other federal law enforcement agency has an arrest warrant for an inmate. Mesa County in western Colorado is also emulating Pelle's decision, spokeswoman Heather Benjamin said. ... The San Miguel County sheriff in southwestern Colorado announced a similar decision as Boulder on Tuesday. The change in policy came after a ruling last month in Pennsylvania involving an American citizen who was born in Puerto Rico held in jail for three days on an ICE hold because he was believed to be from the Dominican Republic.  Sheriff Bill Masters said he will still inform ICE whenever someone who is suspected of being in the country illegally is brought to the county jail. But he won't honor regular ICE detainers, which require that inmates be held for 48 hours after they post bond. Instead, Masters said ICE will have to file an arrest warrant signed by a federal magistrate explaining why someone should be held, just like deputies and police officers do when someone is arrested on state charges.  Masters said he isn't trying to make a stand on illegal immigration, but just wants to make sure that the 4th Amendment rights of all inmates to only be held with some documented evidence, whether or not they're citizens, are protected.  "I would feel terrible if someone got detained here that was an American citizen," said Masters, whose jurisdiction includes the resort town of Telluride.  Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr said he was meeting with attorneys Tuesday on how to proceed. "Nobody wants to get this wrong. Everybody wants to be within the boundaries of the law," he said.  Immigrant advocates applauded the sheriffs. "I think this this is long past due. Detainers are just plain unconstitutional, period," said Hans Meyer, an immigration and criminal defense attorney." - AP, Apr. 29, 2014.