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Court: Local Officials Can't Hold Undocumented on ICE Detainers

Image: Court: Local Officials Can't Hold Undocumented on ICE Detainers
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By    |   Monday, 24 Jul 2017 02:18 PM

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Monday that undocumented immigrants can't be held by law enforcement on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer alone.

"Massachusetts law provides no authority for Massachusetts court officers to arrest and hold an individual solely on the basis of a federal civil immigration detainer, beyond the time that the individual would otherwise be entitled to be released from state custody," the court wrote.

The case review centered around Sreynuon Lunn, who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Cambodia in 1985, but was ordered deported back to the country in 2008 after criminal convictions.

"Lunn was arraigned in the Boston Municipal Court on October 24, 2016, on a single count of unarmed robbery," the court explained. "The day before the arraignment, the United States Department of Homeland Security . . . issued a civil immigration detainer against him.

"The detainer document was a standard form document then in use by the department. It requested, among other things, that the Massachusetts authorities continue to hold Lunn in state custody for up to two days after he would otherwise be released, in order to give officers of the department time to arrive and take him into federal custody."

Lunn was held under the ICE detainer for more than three months as officials tried to have him deported. But because he was born in a Thai refugee camp to Cambodian parents, neither country recognizes his citizenship, and will not accept him.

"This court decision sets an important precedent that we are a country that upholds the constitution and the rule of law," Carol Rose, ACLU executive director, told Reuters in a statement. "At a time when the Trump administration is pushing aggressive and discriminatory immigration enforcement policies, Massachusetts is leading nationwide efforts by limiting how state and local law enforcement assist."

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The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Monday that undocumented immigrants can't be held by law enforcement on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer alone.
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2017-18-24
Monday, 24 Jul 2017 02:18 PM
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