Hennepin County will no longer hold people on immigration detainers at the request of the federal government.
Sheriff Rich Stanek made the announcement earlier today. The practice, known as an ICE hold, drew scrutiny from the American Civil Liberties Union recently. The federal government would request that local sheriffs hold people suspected of having immigration issues for up to six days after they would otherwise be released from jail. In May, the Minnesota Chapter of the ACLU sent letters to all of the state’s county sheriffs that said the practice is unconstitutional and asked the sheriffs to stop honoring the federal requests.
The practice makes victims and witnesses to crimes reluctant to cooperate with police, the ACLU said.
“An ICE detainer is not a warrant; it is not approved by a judge. It does not mean that there has been a finding about the person’s immigration status; in fact many ICE detainers have been issued against US citizens. Minnesota law does not provide sheriffs any authority to deprive persons of liberty because the federal government suspects they may be subject to civil immigration enforcement,” said Charles Samuelson, Executive Director of the ACLU-MN.