detainer requests

U.S. Citizen Mistakenly Detained Sues Miami Authorities

By Peek & Toland on November 28, 2017

Detainer requests in which federal authorities ask local jurisdictions to hold inmates for longer terms while their immigration status is examined are controversial across the country.

In Miami, Florida, an 18-year-old U.S. citizen who was held for an extra night in a jail based on an incorrect and illegal request from immigration authorities, is suing the authorities.

The Miami-Herald reported Garland Creedle was arrested following an alleged domestic violence incident in Miami in March. He said he spent a night in a county jail. The teen posted bond. The lawsuit stated he was due to be released the next day on March 13.

However, a detention request was sent by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. It led to Creedle being detained for another day, according to the federal suit filed in Miami.

Under the “detainer” request Creedle was declared to be a “removable alien.” It asked that he be jailed for another 48 hours.

The report stated Miami-Dade complied under the terms of a federal policy enacted in January.  President Donald Trump had threatened to withhold funding to authorities that declined requests to hold alleged immigration offenders.

Citizen sues after being mistakenly detained

Citizen mistakenly detained sues authorities

Credle was born in Honduras to a father who held U.S. Citizenship. He was the subject of a detainer request even though his citizenship was proved in court in 2015.

The Herald report said the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the Miami-Dade jail as well as the city mayor Carlos Gimenez, accusing them of “unlawfully detaining” Creedle against his will and without legal authority.

Creedle’s lawsuit says Miami city’s policy of honoring detainer requests from ICE is flawed because the requests themselves are not attached to arrest warrants and exist “outside the normal judicial process governing other charges.”

The Herald article stated Creedle was one of 376 people in Miami subjected to detainer requests since President Donald Trump issued a crackdown on undocumented immigration in January. The city turned over 143 former inmates to immigration authorities up until the summer.

Detainer requests are controversial in Austin where the sheriff has opposed them for all but the most serious offenders. However, legislation enacted in the state this year criminalizes law enforcement officers who fail to comply with them.

If you are fighting immigration enforcement action, call our Austin legal team today at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Citizenship, Immigration

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Sheriffs Who Flout Immigration Rules in Texas Will Commit a Crime

By Peek & Toland on July 3, 2017

Texas has upped the stakes in the immigration battle raging across the nation related to the holding of undocumented migrants who commit a crime. A new law passed in April means sheriffs who flout immigration rules will commit a crime.

The bill which is the first of its kind in the country passed in April after 16 hours of debate.

Texas is first state to pass legislation that creates criminal penalties for law enforcement officers who do not honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “detainer’ requests to hold people in local jails in Texas. Senate Bill 4 was passed on party lines.

Sheriffs who flout immigration rules may be charged with a crime

Sheriffs who flout immigration rules in Texas face sanctions

The law renders the failure to comply with ICE “detainer requests,” a criminal offense where people suspected of being undocumented immigrants can be held for up to 48 hours in local facilities so as ICE officers can collect them, reported Vice News.

Sheriffs Who Flout Immigration Rules Are Targeted by Texas Governor

In Texas, the bill was rushed through the legislature after Gov. Greg Abbott stated the elimination of sanctuary cities was a priority. He highlighted it as an emergency item in his State of the State address in late January.

We previously noted how Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez and Abbott were on a collision course over the sheriff’s refusal to honor ICE detainer requests in Austin.

Hernandez who was elected last November said her office would only cooperate with detainer requests for people arrested for serious felonies. Abbott took aim at her. He said:

“Elected officials don’t get to pick and choose which laws they obey. To protect Texans from deadly danger, we must insist that laws be followed.”

Under the bill, Hernandez and other sheriffs who flout immigration rules over ICE detainer requests would be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. It’s the most serious misdemeanor category in Texas. The law applies to other law enforcement officials and administrators.

There is some disagreement about whether the Texas law is enforceable and it might be subject to a legal challenge.

Is Texas Sanctuary City Measure Lawful?

In 2014, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held ICE detainers are mere requests. In other words, they are voluntary and not enforceable. However, Texas is in the Fifth Circuit.

Texas Senator Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), who carried the bill through the Senate said Texas is not bound by that court’s ruling.

However, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, spoke against the bill at a rally.

He said the measure is not something Texas should aspire to be. Representatives from the Dallas and Bexar County Sheriff’s Departments were also at a rally in April to protest the measure.

The legislation puts Texas at the forefront of the immigration debate. It remains to be seen if it’s legal.

If you are impacted by an immigration matter in Texas, please call our experienced immigration team at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Cancellation of Removal, Criminal Defense, Immigration, Immigration Reform

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