An update on immigration bills

February 17, 2017

Several bills were introduced dealing with local governmental enforcement of federal immigration laws and policies but only one appears to be still alive.

HB 1468 (Marshall, R.G.) deals with compliance by the Department of Corrections, local sheriffs and regional jail superintendents with requests from the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to hold prisoners pending ICE taking them into custody (“ICE detainers”). As introduced the bill would have required compliance with all ICE detainer requests, even past the date the subject state prison or jail inmate is entitled to be released on state criminal charges. In its current form, the bill allows release of the inmate in situations when some federal courts have said that full compliance with ice detainers would be unconstitutional. These occur when the only reason for the ICE detainer is the inmate’s presence in the United States without a visa or green card, which is a civil offense not a criminal one. Under the amended bill, honoring the ICE detainer past the state law release date would still be required when there are outstanding federal criminal charges against the inmate, which would not be unconstitutional under existing court decisions.

VACo Contact: Phyllis Errico, CAE

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