In a recently released media alert, ICE has presented new features to the ICE immigration detainer (Form I-247). Detainer requests are the device ICE uses to request local jails to hold people beyond their local sentence in order for ICE to then pick them up and place them in detention. The new form, and press release, may be in response to the national criticism of their Scomm (Secured Communities) program. Counties such as Santa Clara County and Chicago have lead the charge against ICE’s detainer policies.
The new features may represent positive impact for counties across the United States, if actually enacted. Here in Santa Clara County, the Santa Clara coalition against SCOMM has been working hard in advocating for all immigrants that could be impacted by detainers. We also see the same hard work being done in countless counties across the nation. This new ICE detainer form has potential in shifting who will eventually get deported and who will not in other counties – again depending on how counties and states respond to the announced changes, and how sincere ICE is in these changes. First off, the document does state that the detainer request form is in fact a request. Many county officials across the county did not know that a detainer is an actual request, rather erroneously thinking it was legally mandatory. And in an interestingly worded statement, the press release states that “the new form allows ICE to make the detainer operative only upon the individual’s conviction.” ICE, through SCOMM, currently sends people into detention regardless of conviction or not. Another interesting part of the form is that they have now incorporated a hot-line one could call to lodge a complaint or any issues that one may have with their hold, although I wouldn’t trust a hot-line made by the same department of the government that is trying to work so hard in getting immigrants deported out of.
Check out the link below to see a copy of the newly updated detainer form, and the press release. – Post submission by Cesar Flores.
Office of Public Affairs
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Dec. 29, 2011
Contact: ICE Public Affairs
ICE establishes hotline for detained individuals, issues new detainer form
WASHINGTON — As part of a broader effort to improve our immigration enforcement process and prioritize resources to focus on threats to public safety, repeat immigration law violators, recent border entrants, and immigration fugitives while continuing to strengthen oversight of the nation’s immigration detention system and facilitate legal immigration, U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) today announced new measures to ensure that individuals being held by state or local law enforcement on immigration detainers are properly notified about their potential removal from the country and are made aware of their rights.
The new measures include a new detainer form and the launch of a toll-free hotline — (855) 448-6903 — that detained individuals can call if they believe they may be U.S. citizens or victims of a crime. The hotline will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by ICE personnel at the Law Enforcement Support Center. Translation services will be available in several languages from 7 a.m.
until midnight (Eastern) seven days a week. ICE personnel will collect information from the individual and refer it to the relevant ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Field Office for immediate action.
The new form also includes:
A request that the law enforcement agency (LEA) provide the subject of the detainer a copy of the detainer form and includes a notice advising the subject that ICE intends to assume custody. The notice informs these individuals that ICE has requested the LEA maintain custody beyond the time when they would have otherwise been released by the state or local law enforcement authorities based on their criminal charges or convictions. The notice also includes Spanish,
French, Portuguese, Chinese and Vietnamese translations.
Further emphasis that LEAs may only hold an individual for a period not to exceed 48 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays). It also advises individuals that if ICE does not take them into custody within the 48 hours, they should contact the LEA or entity that is holding them to inquire about their release from state or local custody.
Directions for individuals who may have a civil rights or civil liberties complaint regarding ICE activities.
The new form allows ICE to make the detainer operative only upon the individual’s conviction of the offense for which he or she was arrested.
The new form makes clear that the existence of a detainer should not impact or prejudice the individual’s conditions of detention, including matters related to the individual’s custody classification, work or quarter assignments.
An immigration detainer (Form I-247) is a notice that DHS issues to federal, state and local LEAs to inform them that ICE intends to assume custody of an individual in the LEA’s custody and to request that the LEA notify ICE as soon as possible prior to the time when LEA would otherwise release the individual.
Detainers help ensure that individuals who are convicted of criminal charges or have previously been removed are not released back into the community to potentially commit more crimes. Detainers are critical tools in assisting ICE’s identification and removal of criminal aliens, immigration fugitives, illegal re-entrants, recent border crossers and others who have no legal right to remain in the United States.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.
ICE is a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities.
For more information, visit: http://www.ICE.gov. To report suspicious activity, call 1-866-347-2423.