Sheriff won’t honor ICE hold requests

Published 10:19 am Thursday, June 12, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS — The Hennepin County sheriff’s office will no longer honor U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests for detainee holds, Sheriff Rich Stanek said Wednesday.

ICE has asked local jails to detain some inmates up to 48 hours after they are eligible for release so they can be considered for deportation. In the past, local law enforcement officials have considered the requests mandatory. But recent federal court rulings have stated ICE detention requests are simply that — requests and not orders.

Of the 36,000 inmates booked into the Hennepin County Jail each year, about 1.5 percent have ICE detention requests reports said.

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Stanek said he consulted with the county attorney, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota and others before making the policy change. He said his decision came “after a long, thoughtful and deliberate process.”

“My first responsibility as Sheriff of Hennepin County will always be to enforce the law and abide by the Constitution,” Stanek said in a statement.

The ACLU believes the ICE requests are unconstitutional.

“The practice of holding individuals without a proper legal reason is problematic and we are glad that Hennepin County took the proper steps to correct their actions,” ACLU Minnesota Executive Director Charles Samuelson said in a statement. Samuelson said he hopes other counties follow Hennepin County’s lead.

Twin Cities ICE spokesman Shawn Neudauer said the agency “will continue to work cooperatively with law enforcement partners throughout Minnesota as the agency seeks to enforce its priorities by identifying and removing convicted criminals and others who are public safety threats.”