State of ICE – local law enforcement collaboration

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center published an analysis of local (county) collaboration on immigration enforcement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It writes: “The Trump administration will be inheriting a well-oiled deportation and detention machine. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) operates the largest police force in the nation and has a budget that is $4 billion more than all of the other federal law enforcement agencies combined.

Over the past ten years, the increased  involvement of city and county law enforcement in the deportation business – at the urging of DHS and particularly Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – has played a central role in the record-breaking volume of deportations we see today. It is because of this assistance from local law enforcement that the Obama administration gained the capacity to detain and deport so many people. That massive infrastructure will now be led by an administration with an even more ambitious nativist agenda.”

Here is its summary, by county:

Of the 2,556 counties looked at, only 25 had 287(g) agreements and 147 had ICE detention contracts (also called Intergovernmental Service Agreements or IGSAs). These numbers show that only a small proportion of counties have a formal or contractual relationship with ICE. However, when we looked at the data for policies and stated practices in other forms of assistance, the numbers paint a very different and concerning picture.

1,922 counties, or 75% of counties, will hold immigrants on detainers, willingly violating these individuals’ 4th Amendment rights. Only 635 counties, or 25% of counties, do not hold on detainers.

Even more counties, 2,414 in total, take it upon themselves to notify ICE when immigrants will be released from custody, while 142 counties have a policy against that practice.

In 2,484 counties, there are no limitations on what ICE can do in the jails, whereas just 72 counties place some sort of restriction or procedural protections on ICE’s access to detainees.

2,331 counties allow local law enforcement to inquire into an individual’s immigration status, with only 25 counties banning that inquiry.

And finally in 2,503 counties, county employees are able to use local resources to assist ICE in their federal immigration enforcement responsibilities. Only 53 counties prohibit that practice.

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