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Thread: Justices Rule ICE Detainers Are Not Arrest Warrants

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Justices Rule ICE Detainers Are Not Arrest Warrants

    Massachusetts Justices Rule ICE Detainers Are Not Arrest Warrants

    • Jul 28, 2017

    The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Monday, July 24, that state and local law enforcement officials do not have legal grounds to detain a person wanted solely for civil immigration violations.

    But the landmark decision, reached in the case Lunn v. Commonwealth, may bring little change in how Upper Cape police already handle immigration-related matters.

    During the past seven years, Sandwich Police Chief Peter N. Wack stated, “the Sandwich Police Department has not been asked to hold anyone pursuant to a federal immigration detainer nor have we held anyone.

    “As this issue was developing last year, police chiefs throughout Massachusetts were asked to meet with representatives of the ACLU to discuss their position on federal detainers,” Chief Wack stated. “Sandwich has taken the position that we will comply with the laws of Massachusetts. If an issue develops which is not clear, we will confer with the District Attorney’s Office and/or our legal counsel. The SJC’s ruling confirms the position which Sandwich has used in the past.”

    In the eyes of Mashpee Police Chief Scott W. Carline, “This ruling from the Supreme Judicial Court will now provide law enforcement with specific guidance regarding federal immigration detainers.

    “To the best of my recollection the Mashpee Police Department has never taken a person into custody on a federal immigration detainer,” Chief Carline stated.
    “In speaking with other chiefs on Cape Cod, this is not something that is dealt with frequently.”

    In Falmouth, Chief Edward Dunne said, “The Lunn decision is not going to change how the Falmouth Police Department has operated.”

    The Falmouth Police, Chief Dunne said, have never detained anybody for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal agency commonly known as ICE. The agency is part of the US Department of Homeland Security.

    The department also has been proactive in its response to an initiative pursued by Homeland Security known as the Secure Communities Program.

    On January 25, the federal department re-instituted the Secure Communities Program per an executive order by President Donald J. Trump. The program originally was in effect from 2008 until August of 2011.

    The Secure Communities Program connects ICE with local and state law enforcement personnel on a technological level. When a person is booked into a jail, their fingerprints are sent to the FBI; and in jails that are participating in the program, those fingerprints are sent to ICE as well. If ICE finds a match in its records, it sends a detainer seeking the detention of the jailed individual.

    The Falmouth Police Department previously released a pamphlet with a message from Chief Dunne regarding the Secure Communities Program. In the pamphlet, Chief Dunne says that the implementation of the program “does not in any way change the way the Falmouth Police Department conducts our current enforcement operations pursuant to existing policies, procedures or practices.”

    The pamphlet states that, “in keeping with our current practices, [the Falmouth Police Department] will not be involved in any profiling or targeting of any specific ethnic group or presumed nationality class because of the implementation of the Federal Secure Communities Program. We, as professional police officers, are responsible for providing effective police services to everyone in the Town of Falmouth in an equal, fair, and just manner.”

    “Local law enforcement agencies, including the Falmouth Police, have no authority to enforce federal civil immigration laws and the implementation of the Secure Communities Program does not vest any additional authority or power to further civil immigration arrests by local police.”

    Chief Dunne had discussed the pamphlet with concerned members of the community, the American Civil Liberties Union, and No Place For Hate.

    No statement was available from the Bourne Police Department yesterday on the possible local impact of the Lunn case.

    State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro), whose district includes Mashpee, welcomed the SJC’s decision.

    “The Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling on Monday reaffirmed that Massachusetts will reject the anti-immigration rhetoric that has spread fear in communities across the Commonwealth,” Sen. Cyr stated. “I have received vocal feedback from constituents in opposition to the President’s unconstitutional executive orders regarding immigration.

    “It was their calls and e-mails that made up my mind to sign on as a co-sponsor for the Safe Communities bill,” the senator said. “My constituents, and Monday’s ruling, remind me of what I already know: the Commonwealth is an inherently welcoming place; we embrace all communities and will stand up against any efforts to demonize immigrants.”

    The SJC decision on federal detainers stemmed from a case regarding a Cambodian immigrant, Sreynuon Lunn, who was arraigned in the Boston Municipal Court on October 24, 2016, on a single count of unarmed robbery.

    On October 23, Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a civil immigration detainer to the Boston Police Department as well as any other authorities who would be detaining Lunn. In the detainer, they requested that he be held in custody for an additional two days, in order to give the department time to take him into federal custody.

    According to the trial court docket, Lunn was committed to the custody of the Suffolk County sheriff at the Suffolk County jail in lieu of bail. On February 6, Mr. Lunn was returned to the court for his second scheduled trial by the personnel from the sheriff’s office, and was delivered into the custody of trial court officers. As the commonwealth had not been ready for trial at either time, the judge dismissed the case.

    Mr. Lunn had no criminal charges at that time. His legal counsel informed the judge of the outstanding detainer, and requested that Lunn be free to go regardless, as the criminal case had been dismissed. The judge declined to act on the request, and Mr. Lunn was kept in a holding cell at the court for several hours until ICE officials arrived to take Lunn into federal custody.

    The following day, Mr. Lunn’s counsel submitted a petition to a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court requesting Mr. Lunn’s release. The petition alleged that the trial court and its officers did not have the authority to hold Lunn on the federal civil detainer after the criminal charge had been dismissed, and that his detention as it was stood in violation of the Fourth and 14th Amendments of the Constitution and Articles 12 and 14 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights.

    As Mr. Lunn already was in federal custody at the time, the petition was rendered moot. But the single justice, seeing the legal issues raised in the petition as important, reserved and reported the case to the full court.

    Two other petitions were filed under similar circumstances in 2016. The single justices in those cases ruled that the Massachusetts trial courts had no authority to hold or order the holding of a defendant on a federal civil detainer.

    In a 2012 case, Arizona vs. United States, the US Supreme Court stated that “[a]s a general rule, it is not a crime for a removable alien to remain present in the United States.” Furthermore, it stated that the process of removing a person from the country “is a civil, not criminal, matter.”

    With the Supreme Court’s statements in mind, the Supreme Judicial Court stated in its decision that the “detainers are not criminal detainers or criminal arrest warrants. They do not charge anyone with a crime, indicate that anyone has been charged with a crime, or ask that anyone be detained in order that he or she can be prosecuted for a crime. Detainers like this are used to detain individuals because the federal authorities believe that they are civilly removable from the country. It is undisputed in this case that holding someone in circumstances like this, against his or her will, constitutes an arrest under Massachusetts law.”

    The court stated that no federal statutes exist which grant state officials the authority to make this kind of arrest, nor was there anything in the statutes or common law of Massachusetts to grant the power to make civil arrests in these circumstances.

    While the text of their statements explicitly bar state officials from honoring detainer requests, the arguments they provide should apply just as much to local law enforcement officers, although the decision does not specifically prohibit local officials from honoring the requests.

    Last edited by JohnDoe2; 08-04-2017 at 05:58 PM.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Yes, that is why we need that little bill that acknowledges the authority of states to enforce US immigration law and authorizes them therefore to do so. Just a little 1 pr 2 sentence bill that will unleash all of our state and local law enforcement officials to engage in this effort to enforce US immigration law should they choose to do so.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Captainron's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Having done a little research I've found lots of articles on federal-state-local cooperation. This is, actually, routine. Liberals expect this in regards to things like environmental law---and the EPA does genuinely collaborate with local officials. And it would be interesting to see how much of this is handled via civil courts! Right? I doubt that the EPA is putting lots of people in prison! The DEA is well known, as an example, for enjoying cooperation with local police.

    We've got some momentum going in our state to reverse its statewide sanctuary policy. Needless to say, the higher courts here are practically run by the ACLU so legal objections to that policy would be likely futile, but we do have Citizens initiative well enshrined.

    Sanctuary policies stir up a host of legal problems----since our basic premise, and our constitutional principles, were intended to make us independent of all foreign powers:
    -It's often a defacto underground economy. So how does the equal federal taxation clause remain in effect? A sanctuary state is allowing activities that are escaping taxation---often---that all citizens must pay.

    -These families here illegally are also sending money----their "profits"---out of the country. They are, in effect, international business enterprises, and that would apply to any of them who are not legitimately employed, even if they are using an American social security number. It's an enterprise----when it doesn't fit within the full scope of the law. So the commerce clause would apply. States are not allowed to set up their own rules of commerce.
    Article I, Section 8, Clause 3:[3]
    [The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
    Judy likes this.
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  4. #4
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    This is just insanity.

    It shows us just how much power has gotten into the wrong hands and just how much those people want to destroy this country.

    Most of all, though, they want to destroy Americans.
    Judy likes this.

  5. #5
    Senior Member posylady's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Soro's bought and paid for the ACLU with his donations.
    Beezer and Judy like this.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2006
    I wish Pres. Trump would put a serious damper on the monies being sent out of the country.

    It really is mind boggling.

    Our small town has no visible illegals. You would probably think there were none, unless you were paying attention. They mostly work, and live out of town on the ranches and dairies.

    One place you can see them is at the grocery stores, convenience stores and PO buying money orders on Friday or Saturday.
    Judy likes this.

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