PBSO will no longer detain people with unclear immigration status, without a judge's order

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that the agency will no longer detain people with questionable immigration statuses that are based solely on so-called "detainers" from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to a news release from Public Information Officer Teri Barbera, an ICE detainer is a request for a local jail to hold individuals up to 48 hours after the local charges have been resolved; it’s an agency request only.

According to the release, historically, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers were viewed as “mandatory”, requiring jails to honor them.

However, recent directives by ICE describe detainers as discretionary and there have been recent federal court decisions articulating the same.

Therefore, the release states, PBSO will no longer honor the detainers absent judicial authority. PBSO will require orders of deportation or warrants signed by a federal judge/magistrate, or other court related orders, to hold individuals beyond the time they would otherwise be released.

Barbera writes that "this decision comes after a long, thoughtful, and deliberate process that included meetings with the community activists group P.E.A.C.E and discussions with various legal counsels and I.C.E. officials."

She goes on to say, "This decision in no way will affect the sheriff’s office commitment to securing our borders from the influx of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the U.S. illegally or the human trafficking associated with it."

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