ICE Program to Allow Local Law Enforcement to Make Immigration Arrests
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday announced a new program that would allow local law enforcement officers to start arresting and temporarily detaining immigrants on behalf of the agency, even if established local policies prevent them from doing so.
Local jurisdictions that join the new program will be temporarily exempted from any local or state rules preventing them from cooperating in immigration arrests or detention, and allow them to execute arrest warrants issued by ICE, according to an agency release.
ICE will have 48 hours to transfer any immigrant arrested and detained under the program into its custody, or the immigrant will be released.
“Policies that limit cooperation with ICE undermine public safety, prevent the agency from executing its federally mandated mission and increase the risks for officers forced to make at-large arrests in unsecure locations,” Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence said in a statement.
“The [Warrant Service Officer] program will protect communities from criminal aliens who threaten vulnerable populations with violence, drugs and gang activity by allowing partner jurisdictions the flexibility to make immigration arrests in their jail or correctional facility.”
The agency said the new program was made at the request of the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Major County Sheriffs of America.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was quick to condemn the move, calling it the “latest scheme by ICE to enlist local police in its abusive deportation agenda.”
“The agency explicitly aims to subvert the will of local communities that have passed ordinances to prevent exactly this kind of cooperation between police and ICE,” ACLU’s deputy political director Lorella Praeli said in a statement. “Participants would be forced to carry the financial burden of ICE’s aggression, potentially costing the state millions in operational expenses and legal fees.”
“We urge local law enforcement to resist this dangerous proposal and stand by their commitment to the communities they serve.”
This new program is the latest move by the Trump administration to tighten immigration rules.
Former acting ICE Director Ronald Vitiello resigned last month after the president said he wanted to take the agency in a “tougher” direction.