D.C. Directs Jails to Ignore ICE Detainers, Undermine Secure Communities?
The City Council for the District of Columbia (D.C.) adopted a measure Tuesday, Bill 19-585, aimed at undermining the federal government's Secure Communities program by directing jails to ignore Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers except for in limited circumstances. (Washington Post, June 5, 2012; Judiciary Committee Report on Bill 19-585, p. 96)
The D.C. Council passed the measure in response to ICE's activation of Secure Communities in the District that same day, along with the territories of Guam, American Somoa, and the Virgin Islands. (See ICE list of activated jurisdictions, updated June 5, 2012)
The ordinance impedes D.C. correctional officers' ability to honor ICE detainers in several ways. First, the measure prohibits their ability to hold aliens for longer than a 24-hour period for ICE to pick-up, despite federal regulations requiring a 48-hour period.
Second, the measure prohibits officers from honoring and ICE detainer unless the alien is at least 18 years of age and has been convicted of one of the following:
Finally, the measure expressly prohibits D.C. officers from providing to any ICE agent "an office, booth, or any facility or equipment" to use to inquire about the immigration status of inmates. (Id. at § 2(d))
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