Today, Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA), Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), and 43 House Democrats sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson urging him to review their detainer practices and to halt the use of immigration detainers in their current form.
“Through the [Secure Communities and Criminal Alien] Programs, DHS targets individuals encountered by local police – regardless of whether they are ever even convicted or charged with a crime – and funnels them into the deportation pipeline without an independent finding of probable cause for an arrest,” wrote the Members of Congress. “This dragnet approach has not only fueled racial profiling, it has also targeted thousands of individuals who would be eligible to seek lawful immigration status under the immigration reform proposals currently being contemplated by Congress.”
Localities throughout the country, including Washington State and Colorado, have already limited compliance with ICE detainers due to costs, their negative impacts on the community, and concerns about constitutionality. In numerous cases, federal courts have found that current detainer practices fail to meet constitutional standards.
“Communities across the country, along with our courts, have spoken loud and clear,” the Members wrote. “We urge the Department to undertake a full review of the detainer issuance process with the goal of reforming its practices and to discontinue the use of immigration detainers in their current form as part of the forthcoming immigration enforcement reforms.”