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    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Civil rights group sues Suffolk sheriff over ICE detentions (update)

    By Denise Civiletti - Dec 11, 2017, 7:10 pm

    The New York Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office today, arguing that the sheriff lacks authority under state law to honor detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Detainers ask local officers to hold immigrants after they would otherwise be released from custody.

    The NYCLU lawsuit seeks the release of Susai Francis, a Suffolk County resident who is currently being held for ICE in the Suffolk County jail following his guilty plea to a disorderly conduct violation in local criminal court today, according to a press release from the NYCLU. The organization said it will argue for a writ of habeas corpus tomorrow morning in Brooklyn before the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court, Second Department. Francis would have been released from custody following the disorderly conduct plea in the absence of the ICE hold.

    The civil liberties union called the detention of Francis ”the latest in an ongoing series of immigration arrests by local law enforcement agencies that overstep their authority under state law.” Following the election of President Donald Trump, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office reinstituted a previously abandoned policy of detaining immigrants for ICE, while sanctuary cities like New York have refused to comply with immigration detainer requests.

    The president has called on Congress to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities that refuse to comply with ICE detainer requests. In his Saturday address, citing the acquittal of the man charged in the killing of a San Francisco woman, blasted sanctuary cities.

    “In sanctuary states and cities, innocent Americans are at the mercy of criminal aliens because state and local officials defy federal authorities and obstruct the enforcement of immigration laws,” Trump said. “It’s one more reason why Americans are so upset by sanctuary cities and open border politicians who shield criminal aliens from federal law enforcement and all of the problems involved with the whole concept of sanctuary cities,” he said. “They’re no good.”

    NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman called on local law enforcement to “reject the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda,” and said New York State law makes “clear that local law enforcement can’t violate people’s rights in order to do ICE’s bidding.”

    The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office had stopped enforcing ICE detainer requests in 2014. But after President Trump’s election, the sheriff reversed that policy. According to the NYCLU, that has led to a wave of detentions. This year the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office has received more requests to detain immigrants for ICE than any other sheriff’s office in New York State, the NYCLU said.

    Neither Immigration and Customs Enforcement nor the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office could immediately be reached for comment.

    Francis has been a resident of Long Island for the past 21 years, the NYCLU said in the press release.

    In addition to seeking Francis’ release, the suit seeks a decisive ruling on the limits of local law enforcement’s authority, the NYCLU said.

    https://riverheadlocal.com/2017/12/1...ce-detentions/
    Last edited by Jean; 11-14-2018 at 11:13 PM.
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    Court: Suffolk sheriff illegally detained inmate for ICE

    The midlevel state court rules that state and local law enforcement have no authority to arrest people on behalf of ICE.

    November 14, 2018
    By Yancey Roy

    In a case originating in Suffolk County, a court ruled Wednesday that state and local law enforcement have no authority to arrest and detain people on behalf of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency for deportation purposes.

    The Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court, in a 4-0 ruling, upended a policy implemented by former Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent F. DeMarco of detaining for up to 48 hours any person who was subject to an ICE warrant. DeMarco announced the policy one month after the election of President Donald Trump.

    Such a policy was "unlawful" under New York law, the court ruled. Shortly after the decision came down Wednesday, Sheriff Errol Toulon, who succeeded DeMarco, issued a staff directive saying: "This practice shall cease immediately."

    The case at the center of the issue dealt with Susai Francis, a citizen of India who moved to New York in 1996 under a six-month visitor's visa. He failed to depart upon the visa's expiration; he now has two children, one of whom is a U.S. citizen. According to court documents, he was charged in Suffolk County in 2016 with violating a Family Court order of protection.

    Francis ultimately pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct charges on Dec. 11, 2017, and was sentenced to time served. But instead of being released, he was detained at a county jail in Riverhead, "placed in a jail cell rented by ICE," according to court documents. Two days later, ICE agents retrieved Francis and took him to a federal facility to begin deportation proceedings.

    Francis should have been released from Suffolk custody and not turned over to the federal authorities, the court ruled.

    “We conclude that the Sheriff’s policy . . . directing the retention of prisoners, who would otherwise be released, pursuant to ICE detainers and administrative warrants is unlawful and that Francis’s detention by the sheriff on December 11, 2017, which detention commenced after the termination of Francis’s court proceeding that day, was thus unlawful,” Justice Alan D. Scheinkman wrote for the court.

    In another passage of the 20-page decision, Scheinkman said more broadly: “We conclude that New York state and local law enforcement officers are not authorized by New York law to effectuate arrests for civil law immigration violations.”

    https://www.newsday.com/news/region-...ice-1.23414679
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