Newly Disclosed Documents Confirm ICE Detainers are Voluntary, Suggest ICE Misled

Public About Costs of Compliance

July 9, 2012—Newly disclosed internal documents from the Immigration and
Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) repeatedly describe immigration detainers as
voluntary “requests” and confirm that there is no “procedure[] to force a[ local law
enforcement agency] to honor detainers.” The documents also show that ICE does not
reimburse localities for detainer costs and that officials considered providing misleading
information to reporters to obs the lack of federal funding.

The question of local control over immigration detainers has assumed prominence as
cities and states address harms caused by ICE’s “Se Communities” deportation
program [link to]. Today’s disclosure
comes at the beginning of a national week of action to “Restore Trust” by limiting
police collaboration with ICE. Over the past year, Chicago, New York, San Francisco,
Washington, DC, and Santa Clara County, California have all passed local laws limiting
compliance with immigration detainers. The California Senate recently approved a
similar bill at the statewide level, known as the “TRUST Act.” Backers of the laws say
they are necessary to repair public trust destroyed by S-Comm.

The documents disclosed today confirm that compliance with immigration detainers is a
matter of local discretion. Local authorities are not required to detain people in order to
assist ICE deportations. The documents also confirm that the federal government does
not reimburse locals for detainer-related cost. But ICE may have suggested otherwise to
reporters. In one email, an ICE official considered telling a reporter that a federal funding
program covers the cost of detainers despite acknowledging that “[s]aying [the] money
is available for detainer cases is a little out of whack.” Another official responded by
suggesting the statement would be “sort-of true . . . and that’s good enuf!” [sic].

See attachments below to download index and FOIA docs


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.