ICE Director admits: “Immigration detainers... are not mandatory as a matter of law.”

This settles it. 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Daniel H. Ragsdale told members of Congress in a letter last month that “...while immigration detainers are an important part of ICE's efforts..., they are not mandatory as a matter of law." 

 

Above: An ICE detainer form clearly showing the hold is merely a request.

Immigration detainers, or ICE holds as they are more commonly known, are requests to local jails from ICE to hold individuals for two extra days so ICE can come get them and (almost always) deport them.

Above: An ICE detainer form clearly showing the hold is merely a request. 

These detainers are a consequence of a program called Secure Communities, more commonly known as S-Comm.

As a growing list of cities and counties across the country have opted-out of S-Comm, some local officials are still hiding behind the excuse that the program is mandatory. In fact, nearly 30 cities and counties have opted-out. 

One such local official is Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton of Texas who has defended his department’s compliance with S-Comm by claiming that it is “the law.” 

With this admission from ICE, there is no longer any question over whether or not local communities can opt-out of S-Comm. The only question that remains is whether or not progressive communities like Travis County, Texas, will join the ranks of those places that have said no to S-Comm and mass deportation. 

The S-Comm program was initiated by President George W. Bush and then aggressively rolled-out nationwide by President Barack Obama. It is the program driving the record-breaking deportations of the Obama Administration. 

In fact, President Obama’s 2 millionth deportation is due any day, despite the fact that the president has the legal authority to stop deportations at any time. 

The deportation crisis is especially pronounced in Travis County, Texas, where the deportation rate is exceptionally high