New ICE program for local law enforcement has ACLU outraged

Stand by for the incoming lawsuits. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is rolling out a new program this week that was requested by various sheriffs’ departments and other local law enforcement agencies around the country. What they’re doing is setting up a system whereby local law enforcement will be able to gain the legal ability to execute arrest warrants for illegal aliens, even if they are in “sanctuary” areas with state or local rules prohibiting them from cooperating. Known as the Warrant Service Officer (WSO) program, eligible local LEOs will be able to receive training and enter into a partnership with ICE, allowing them to hold illegal aliens for up to 48 hours so ICE agents can come to pick them up. (The Hill)

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday announced a new program that would allow local law enforcement officers to start arresting and temporarily detaining immigrants on behalf of the agency, even if established local policies prevent them from doing so.

Local jurisdictions that join the new program will be temporarily exempted from any local or state rules preventing them from cooperating in immigration arrests or detention, and allow them to execute arrest warrants issued by ICE, according to an agency release.

ICE will have 48 hours to transfer any immigrant arrested and detained under the program into its custody, or the immigrant will be released.

You can read the full announcement from ICE at their website, but the details are fairly basic. Once a local agency enters into a WSO agreement with ICE, they can sign up for the aforementioned training and then get to work. For those concerned that it would put local sheriffs or police in additional danger or take up too much of their time, it won’t.

The key here is that the local officers will only make these arrests if the illegal alien is already in their jail. If the alien is on ICE’s list but they are about to be released, the sheriff or police officer can arrest them again under this new program and hold them for up to 48 hours so ICE can come to pick them up as they normally used to with a detainer. It’s still the safest way for them to do business.

Of course, no sooner was the program announced than the ACLU was up in arms. They’re once again accusing ICE of all manner of sins, though it sounds as if they haven’t even read the details of the program yet.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was quick to condemn the move, calling it the “latest scheme by ICE to enlist local police in its abusive deportation agenda.”

“The agency explicitly aims to subvert the will of local communities that have passed ordinances to prevent exactly this kind of cooperation between police and ICE,” ACLU’s deputy political director Lorella Praeli said in a statement. “Participants would be forced to carry the financial burden of ICE’s aggression, potentially costing the state millions in operational expenses and legal fees.”

Yes, the group is very upset at ICE’s “abusive deportation agenda.” In some circles that’s also known as “doing their jobs.” As to the “financial burden” being imposed, we’re talking about suspects who are already in jail anyway possibly staying there a couple of more days. And ICE already has programs in place to defray such costs on local police and sheriffs’ offices. But don’t let a few pesky facts stop you from being outraged. Where’s the fun in that?