Colorado Sheriffs Refuse Collectively To Enforce Immigration Holds

Sheriffs from across the state of Colorado have announced that they no longer intend to honor ICE detainers placed on county inmates when such individuals are otherwise eligible for release from their jails or penitentiaries. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency issues these detainers against individuals held in custody by county sheriffs all over the country. Until recently, these sheriffs in Colorado routinely kept these detainees incarcerated beyond the duration of whatever local or state authority justified their detention. But after the Colorado chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) notified these sheriffs that compliance with the ICE detainers may amount to a civil rights violation, the county law enforcement officers changed their policy regarding these administrative holds.

The sheriffs in this state are not the first nationally to refuse enforcement of the holds. Officials in 22 different counties in Iowa recently decided they would not keep prisoners under these ICE detainers. In April a judge in Clackamas, Oregon ruled that these are merely requests not commands and thus do not have the force of law. In Illinois, the Cook County Commission passed an ordinance in September 2011 which states, in part, that “the sheriff of Cook County shall decline all ICE detainer requests unless there is a written agreement with the federal government by which all costs incurred by Cook County in complying with the ICE detainer shall be reimbursed. And in California the legislature passed a law which prohibits the counties from holding such inmates once they qualify for release unless the individual has been charged with or convicted of specific crimes, including violent felonies, or is on the state’s sex offender or arson registries.

But Colorado is notable as a state distinguishing itself from others in the manner in which it relates to undocumented immigrants.  The State of Colorado has joined ten other states plus the District of Columbia which allow for undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. The measure is likely to permit as many as 150,000 individuals the opportunity to get a valid license in that state.

The Shulman Law Group endeavors to ensure its clients be kept abreast of all significant developments relating to the process of immigration to the United States including the manner in which parallel legal proceedings may impact immigrants.. Edward Shulman, Esq, founder of The Shulman Law Group, LLC is a national speaker for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).  AILA is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, and to advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice.  In the course of Mr. Shulman’s involvement with AILA, he has been dedicated to educating other immigration attorneys about the import of helping intending immigrants to navigate a new cultural system. He meticulously follows all of the developments occurring in the battle over immigration reform so that he will be prepared to effectively assist his clients obtain residency if a new system is enacted.