For Immediate Release
May 12, 2015
Contact: SG Sarmiento,

NDLON and ACLU Litigation Reveals Details about ICE Deportation Program

Advocates call for end to unconstitutional jail-based detention

Los Angeles, CA—The National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and the ACLU have released a copy of the Department of Homeland Security’s new draft immigration detainer form, obtained through litigation challenging detention of individuals pursuant to immigration detainers as unconstitutional. The draft form is part of the Obama Administration’s new “Priority Enforcement Program,” which is set to replace the widely criticized Se Communities Deportation program. Announced in November 2014, the program is expected to go into effect imminently.

The new detainer form continues to request that local law enforcement agencies detain individuals identified as deportable by ICE beyond their release date for transfer to immigration. Like the old detainer form, which was challenged in litigation around the country, the new form fails to provide a judicial determination of probable cause to support the requested detention.

“The draft form indicates that DHS has failed to correct the serious constitutional flaws with immigration detainers,” said Jessica Bansal, NDLON Litigation Director. “PEP, like S-Comm, is setting itself up to be a liability trap for unwary local law enforcement agencies, which bear legal responsibility for detaining individuals on ICE holds.”

Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of NDLON, said, “At a time when criminal justice reform, biased policing, and epidemic rates of mass incarceration are at the forefront of the national agenda, the new PEP program sends a chilling message that immigrants are not entitled to equal justice under the law. Relief for some immigrants cannot and must not be used as a justification to condemn other immigrants. We call on the Obama Administration to end its disastrous deportation policy and immediately stop the felonizing of immigrant families.”

“Six months ago, the Obama Administration promised that it would no longer ask localities to detain people on ICE detainers except in rare ‘special circumstances,'” said Jennie Pasquarella, Staff Attorney with the ACLU-SC. “But these draft forms show that ICE has left that promise behind, and it actually intends to continue the routine, dragnet use of detainers that courts have repeatedly condemned.”

“ICE detainers continue to violate basic civil liberties, as a single ICE agent can lock someone up without any oversight or judicial approval,” said Kate Desormeau, Staff Attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. “ICE detainers have led to racial profiling and illegal detentions around the country. It is time for ICE to end this practice once and for all.”

Copies of the draft forms are available below, here in PDF, and further updates at


DHS Detainer Form Drafts

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