States, Cities, and Counties across the U.S. Limit Cooperation with ICE | CLINIC

States, Cities, and Counties across the U.S. Limit Cooperation with ICE

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By Jen Riddle


One of the positive trends in state and local immigration policies this year has been an increasing number of states and localities that are refusing to do the federal government’s job of enforcing immigration laws.  Over the past several years, two states, the District of Columbia, at least eight cities, and twelve counties have passed anti-detainer measures. These laws and policies limit the extent to which local and state law enforcement officers may cooperate with ICE by honoring Form I-247 immigration detainers.  Sometimes called “ICE holds,” an immigration detainer is a request that a local law enforcement agency continue to hold an individual in criminal custody for up to 48 hours beyond when he or she should otherwise be released so that ICE can place the person into immigration custody – even if the individual was never convicted of any crime.  Many local law enforcement officers do not know that immigration detainers are discretionary, not mandatory, and more often than not comply with ICE’s requests.  The unfortunate result is the deportation of increasing numbers of often innocent immigrants.

Among the many concerns cited by policymakers who support anti-detainer measures are burdens on limited local police resources; the undermining of public safety; the destruction of trust between law enforcement and immigrant communities; the separation of families; and the questionable constitutionality of ICE detainers.  The chart below summarizes the states, cities, and counties that have passed measures limiting their compliance with immigration detainers.  These anti-detainer laws and policies range from very broad limitations prohibiting local law enforcement from honoring any ICE detainer requests to more narrow measures restricting compliance to cases in which the individual has been convicted of a certain felony or other serious crime.  Such policies reflect a growing trend of recognition that turning state and local law enforcement officers into immigration agents is harmful to public safety.  These policies are also an important first step in attempting to rebuild trust between immigrants and local police.






“Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools” (TRUST) Act

Oct 5, 2013



Jul 19, 2013





City of Berkeley

City Council Policy

Oct 31, 2012

City of Los Angeles

LA Police Department Policy

Dec 11, 2012

City of San Francisco

Board of Supervisors Due Process for All Ordinance

Oct 8, 2013

San Francisco County

San Francisco Sheriff’s Policy

Jun 1, 2011

Santa Clara County

Board of Supervisors Policy

Oct 18, 2011

Sonoma County

Sonoma County Sheriff’s Policy

Jul 20, 2011

District of Columbia

D.C. Act 19-379

Jun 15, 2012




Miami-Dade County

Memorandum from County Attorney

Jul 15, 2013




Champaign County

Sheriff’s Office Policy

Mar 8, 2012

City of Chicago

City Council Ordinance

Sep 12, 2012

Cook County

Cook County Ordinance 11-O-73

Sep 7, 2011




New Orleans Parish

Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office Policy

Aug 14, 2013




Town of Amherst

Town of Amherst Resolution

May 21, 2012

New Jersey



City of Newark

Police Department Policy

Jul 24, 2013

New York



New York City

Local Law No. 21

Mar 18, 2013

New Mexico



Town of Mesilla

Board of Trustees Resolution

Sep 9, 2013

San Miguel County

Detention Center Policies and Procedures

Dec 10, 2010

Taos County

Adult Detention Center Policies and Procedures

Jan 4, 2011




Multnomah County

Board of County Commissioners Resolution

Apr 4, 2013




King County

King County Council Ordinance 2013-0285

Dec 2, 2013




Milwaukee County

Board of Supervisors Resolution

Jun 4, 2012

[1] Similar legislation was introduced this year in Florida, Massachusetts, and Washington but has not yet passed.

For an overview of collaboration between ICE and local law enforcement agencies through the Criminal Alien Program, 287(g) partnerships, and Secure Communities, and the use of ICE detainers to identify potentially deportable individuals in state or local custody, please visit the recording of CLINIC’s November 8, 2013 Webinar: Recent Trends in State and Local Immigration Enforcement.  In addition, you can find strategies to advocate against the implementation and continuation of these programs in your community in CLINIC’s Toolkit for Communities to Advocate Against ICE Partnerships with Local Law Enforcement Agencies