"Detainers" are requests by immigration officials that local police hold immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally and suspected or accused of a serious crime for 48 hours, or until the immigration authorities can decide if they want to take further action themselves. The Congressional Research Service found in 2015 that local policies vary widely about when to honor detainers, with many honoring those for people held for serious felonies but not for suspects in minor misdemeanor cases. Some require commitments from the federal government to cover the cost of detention or even the locality's legal liability. Demanding compliance with all detainers, some experts say, raises the possibility of federal commandeering of local resources for federal purposes, which happens to be unconstitutional.
"This court decision sets an important precedent that we are a country that upholds the constitution and the rule of law," the group's executive director, Carol Rose, said 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."
The president signed an executive order five days after taking office in January declaring his intent to restrict funding to sanctuary jurisdictions to the extent that federal law would allow. While the law has been widely interpreted to mean that only Justice Department grant funding could be at stake, Sessions three months later announced at the White House that he was implementing the directive and hinted that the administration might explore withholding a broader array of funds from non-compliant jurisdictions.
A new report claims 489 illegal immigrants with detainers were released across North Carolina over the past 10 months. Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano responded Tuesday to a new report that nearly 500 illegal immigrants have been released from custody in North Carolina over the past 10 months despite detainers against them from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden has blamed the releases on low bonds being set by judges in the cases, arguing that the law requires the suspects to be released when they post bond, while an ICE detainer is merely a "request." "This is a world turned upside-down. Napolitano said bail is usually not set "low" when the case is an alleged "crime of violence."